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Jeep prepares to go global with key model makeovers

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Jeep prepares to go global with key model makeovers

Bradford Wernle

Automotive News -- July 26, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Chrysler Group is reworking Jeep's major models this year -- starting with the 2011 Grand Cherokee, which went into production in May at Chrysler's Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit.

The Wrangler will be restyled this year, while the Compass and Patriot crossovers are freshened.

A new small crossover is due in 2013. Jeep executives have talked about a Jeep pickup, but no decision has been made.

Jeep will be Chrysler's only global brand. The company wants to boost Jeep sales from 300,000 last year to 800,000 by 2014.

Small crossover: Late last year, Chrysler unveiled a plan for a small crossover built on a subcompact Fiat platform. Few details have emerged about the vehicle, which is due in 2013.

Patriot: The Patriot is scheduled for a freshening and new grille in October. A Fiat-based replacement is due in 2013.

In the company's five-year plan, presented last November, Chrysler executives showed only one vehicle replacing the Compass-Patriot siblings in 2013. That vehicle will be based on Fiat's Compact Wide platform.

Compass: The Compass, which has gotten a better reception in some overseas markets than in North America, is scheduled for a freshening in December. Insiders say the crossover will get some cosmetic changes that will make it look like a smaller version of the Grand Cherokee. The sheet metal remains untouched. The Compass is likely to disappear after 2012.

Wrangler: In the third quarter, the Wrangler gets a freshened exterior and interior. In 2011, it receives the new Pentastar V-6 engine and optional color hard tops to match body colors.

Liberty: The Liberty was freshened this year with new option packages. The SUV will be replaced by a Fiat-based vehicle in 2013.

Grand Cherokee: Chrysler has hailed the redesigned 2011 Grand Cherokee, based on a Mercedes-Benz SUV platform, as the key vehicle in the company's resurgence. It went into production in May as the first vehicle offered with Chrysler's new 3.6-liter, 280-hp Pentastar aluminum V-6.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100726/OEM04/307269989/1193#ixzz0unJz1Iq8

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