Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced overnight that the Jeep Compass and the Chrysler Town & Country – known here as the Grand Voyager -- would be dead in two years.
The decision is part of a series of money-saving moves to remove product overlaps and give brand clearer identity, differentiating more between Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge, plus the new separated Ram and SRT sub-brands spun off in the US.
The Jeep Compass is virtually a Jeep Patriot under its skin, while the Grand Voyager is an up-specced version of the Dodge Grand Caravan sold in overseas markets.
The Grand Voyager minivan – a category Chrysler claims to have started -- will eventually be replaced by a smaller crossover-type vehicle, possibly keeping the Town & Country nameplate in the US at least.
However in the interim the Dodge version will be the only minivan/peoplemover in the Chrysler line-up around the world.
And that could mean a gap for Australia, where Chrysler is also considering dropping the Dodge brand – currently represented here only by the Dodge Journey SUV-styled peoplemover.
Chrysler Australia spokesperson Lenore Fletcher says the death of the Compass and Grand Voyager would be a “natural” one. “In talking about the Compass, that would be part of the natural turnover cycle – the product life cycle,” she says.
However Fletcher could not confirm whether Australia would be on the map for the dying models’ replacements. “Obviously that section of the market is in a very healthy state, and we’re keen to remain in it,” she says.
“Naturally we’ll be looking at whatever products become available and evaluating their suitability to the Australian market. I don’t think we’re going to be without product.
“We are really at the moment looking at the Chrysler and Jeep line-ups – we’re just about to launch the Chrysler 300 -- and we’re very positive about our volume expectations in the next 12 months.”