2011 Jeep Compass will play a key role in Chrysler expansion outside U.S.

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 7, 2011

Chrysler Group LLC said its revamped Jeep Compass SUV will have a very significant role in the automaker's expansion outside of North America. The new Compass will have its auto-show debut in Detroit on Jan. 10, 2011.

Mike Manley, head of Jeep brand and Chrysler's international organization said the SUV, updated to resemble the larger and higher-priced Jeep Grand Cherokee, should appeal to non-U.S. drivers who prefer smaller vehicles.

According to the company website, the Compass starts at $19,295 in the U.S., compared with $30,215 for the Grand Cherokee.

Chrysler, which is operated by Fiat S.p.A., has plans to more than double its sales in Europe and South America to almost 200,000 in 2011, in part by taking advantage of Fiat's distribution network.

Chrysler spokesman Todd Goyer said Jeep accounts for half of Chrysler's deliveries outside of North America. He also said that the brand sold 13,050 Compasses in those markets in 2010, a 26 percent gain from 2009.

An analyst with IHS Automotive, Rebecca Lindland, said the Compass's smoother ride, interior space and competitive price are what drives the appeal for European drivers. [via autonews - sub. required]

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