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Compass Pricing & Capability

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Right from the firehouse...

The small, youthful, capable and fun 2007 Jeep ® Compass can carry a lot of things, but it won't have to tote the baggage of sticker shock. Base price is $15,985, which includes the $560 destination cost. Compass 4x4 models start at $17,585 including the destination cost. The Compass rolls into showrooms in the third quarter of this year.

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Thursday morning, Joe Eberhardt, Chrysler Group Executive Vice President, Global Sales, Marketing and Service, took questions from reporters at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Birmingham, Mich., a Detroit suburb.

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Over a hearty breakfast and good, strong java, Eberhardt fed the group of auto beat scribes plenty of insight into the new Compass, including the fact that it opens the Jeep brand to customers who may have wanted a Jeep in the past, but required a vehicle that combined super capabiility at a certain price point.

Both the Compass and Compass Limited will be available with front-wheel and four-wheel-drive capability.

The Compass will be playing in the fast-growing compact SUV segment, where sales soared to 368,000 units in calendar year 2005, up from 297,000 in 2004. By 2010, compact SUV sales are expected to jump to about 600,000 units.

For Compass, it's all about providing Jeep functionality at an inviting price.

How capable is the Compass and how does it fit into the Jeep lineup?

To find out, we sat down with Mike Berube. Senior Manager Jeep Marketing.

To hear his interview, just click on "download podcast" below. It's less than five minutes. No time to listen? See the transcript below.

Mike Berube, Senior Manager Jeep Marketing:

How does the Compass fit into the Jeep lineup?

Compass is Jeep's first front-wheel drive vehicle and it really provides an all-new entry point for the brand. It'll be a great product for people who always known Jeep, they've loved Jeep, but in the past thought it just wasn't a vehicle that fit for them. It's an all-new look, something different in the showroom, something we think new people to the brand will appreciate, plus it provides great 4x4 capability plus a great price and fuel economy.

A key part of Compass is its 4x4 capability. For Compass we have a full-time 4-wheel drive system, with a 4-wheel drive lock, it provides great 4x4 capability in all weather conditions. For consumers it's all about confidence. It provides the confidence when they wake up in the morning, whether it be in the northeast, in the snow, or they're in inclement weather, or going out to the beach, they'll have good four-wheel capability that'll get them through.

There's some concern that the Compass does not carry the "Trail Rated" badge. Do you think it will be an issue for the people interested in this type of vehicle?

No, I don't think it will be an issue at all. It does not have the Trail Rated badge but Jeep has a broad range of products for people, Trail Rated is really for those people who want to go out and do recreational off-roading, for people who really want to go off into the rocks and trail. And we have other Jeeps for that. We'll be announcing the new Jeep Patriot, and it will have Trail Rated capability. But for Compass it does have Jeep 4x4 confidence, 4x4 capability. We think it will actually be one of the most capable vehicles out there in its price range and its class.

So when people say 'It's not going to be a real Jeep' that's not true then?

Not at all. Jeep has actually had a rich history over the last 65 years of a broad range of vehicle styles, of capability levels. This really isn't new space for Jeep as much as returning to a space we've been in the past. Even a vehicle like the old Jeep Cherokee had a tremendous 4x2 following. There's more than just the rock crawling aspect to what Jeep is all about.

Target buyer?

It's really young people, people who have active lifestyles. They are looking for a vehicle that is stylish and still practical for their lifestyles. It's economically affordable for them. They're people who like to go out and do a lot of things. The vehicle has a lot of interior flexibility on it. The 4x4 capability fits into that as well. It will probably skew more toward females, our research shows. Overall it's really for people new to the Jeep brand, but yet they've always known and loved what the Jeep stood for but they just never bought one before.

Competitors:

Vehicles like the CR-V, RAV4, the relatively new Sportage are all the types of vehicles that it will compete against, particularly the Saturn VUE, that style of vehicle. These are vehicles people are buying because they want good, solid transportation, they have need for interior flexibility and cargo space and we think Compass will provide better than most vehicles, that combination of fun, cool features, and great sound system, speakers that flip down, cargo-carrying flexibility, yet the capability to comfortably carry people. A lot of young people today, they want to have fun but they want to do it with friends. They're not looking for a tiny little vehicle that's hard to bring their friends and stuff with them. They want to be able to go to the beach, go hiking and do things, carry friends with them and all their gear and this vehicle is perfect for that.

Fuel economy:

Compass will have excellent fuel economy, approaching the 30 mpg range. That really gives people that front-wheel drive capability, good fuel economy. There's a very attractive price on the vehicle as well as we announced today, it provides an all-new entry point to the Jeep brand.

Source: The Firehouse

Thanks to "redriderbob" from Allpar.com forums

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I think that guy next to him is thinking the same thing.

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So when people say 'It's not going to be a real Jeep' that's not true then?

Not at all.

he's FOS!

They are looking for a vehicle that is stylish

so then how come its so ugly?

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Are you kidding me!? $17 k and you don't even get power windows?!?!

Are you kidding me.....only $17K for a 4x4???

How many other 4x4's can you get for $17K?? The CR-V bases at $21K for the 4x4. It probably has power windows though right. I'm sure the power option is less than $4K in the Compass.

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Are you kidding me!? $17 k and you don't even get power windows?!?!

They had to give it some sort of "rough" edge.

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