Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, said that in 2014, the Jeep Compass will be discontinued by Chrysler Group. The Chrysler Town & Country minivan will also be replaced with a crossover. These are included in Marchionne’s efforts for each Chrysler Group brand to have an identity that’s more distinct and to prevent overlaps in products similar to what happened during the DaimlerChrysler era.
Chrysler has to work on this since more than 90% of its dealers offer all four volume brands -- Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram. The Compass and the Jeep Patriot are similar. Meanwhile, the Town & Country is a lot like the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan.
The Town & Country will be replaced by a smaller Chrysler-brand crossover but the name will be kept. The changes in the Town & Country changes mean that Chrysler (which created the traditional minivan) will only offer one minivan -- the Grand Caravan.
Chrysler said in 2009 that its plans only have a single traditional minivan but then it appeared to evade that statement. Marchionne reaffirmed the original plan. Even if Marchionne is phasing out some models, it has been adding brands too.
Since 2009, three brands have been launched in North America -- Ram, Fiat and SRT. He talked about the changes in its products last week at a media event at Chrysler's Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly Plant as well as on a recent interview with Automobile magazine.
He said that the Compass and Patriot will continue production beside the new Dodge Dart in Belvidere until August 2014. After that, Marchionne told plant employees that there are several contenders for the replacement of the Compass. No details were given. He also declined to talk about what’s to be expected from the Patriot.