The Jeep Compass to be discontinued in 2014
Sergio Marchionne stated recently that the Jeep Compass would continue being built at the same Belvidere Assembly Plant as the Jeep Patriot and the awesome new Dodge Dart until August 2014 but at that point, the compact Compass will be discontinued. This move comes as a part of the Chrysler Group’s effort to remove redundancy within the company and considering that the Compass based on the same chassis as the stronger selling Jeep Patriot – removing the Compass from the lineup shouldn’t have much negative impact on sales. The Patriot has outsold the Compass through the first 4 months of 2012 by better than 66%, with almost 9,000 more examples of the Patriot sold than the Compass.
The key difference between the Jeep Compass and the Jeep Patriot is in price, where the Compass carries a starting price roughly $3,300 more than the Patriot. Both vehicles come with front wheel drive or four wheel drive; both vehicles come with a standard 2.4L engine with 172hp that offers 22mpg around town, 28mph on the highway and 25mpg combined; both vehicles come with a standard 5-speed manual transmission yet offer a continuously variable transmission (CVT); both vehicles offer 1,000 pound towing capacity and 925 pound payload capacity – so aside from styling preferences, it isn’t hard to see why the far less expensive Patriot is selling so much better. Provided that the majority of prospective Compass buyers opt for the less expensive Jeep Patriot when given only that option, the Patriot could surpass the Liberty in sales but it will still rank below the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee.
The Chrysler Group has found that having two models so similar in every way can confuse the prospective buyer, sending them out of the dealership empty handed. Because of this, the company has been working to remove vehicles that share many common features with another company product. An example of this is the Dodge Nitro, which was killed off because of the similarities with the Jeep Nitro and another example is the Chrysler Town & Country, which we have just learned will be replaced by a new crossover in 2014 to make room for the Dodge Grand Caravan.
The rising price of gasoline is causing a surge in interest over these compact, fuel efficient sport utility vehicles so anything that the Chrysler Group can do in order to make the buying decision easier for the consumer could help the SUV-only Jeep brand continue to be a leader in the segment. Considering that the Ford Escape is one of the most popular vehicles in the US market, it is very clear that the American car buyer is interested in a roomy, compact SUV. Ford plans to secure their place atop the compact SUV segment with the introduction of the next generation Escape but helping those buyers focus on a single product in dealerships could help the Patriot compete with the likes of the Escape.