According to a review at Dailypress.com, the Jeep Compass is a lite Jeep. I think that’s true. I believe that Jeep is making the Compass, purely to increase profits and attempt to lure new customers to the Jeep lifestyle. I think that if the Compass is successful, Jeep will see sales of their more rugged SUVs increase as customers “upgrade” to the full Jeeps.
I call the Compass “Jeep Lite” – an economy wagon, available with front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive, cosmetically endowed with Jeep’s traditional seven-slot grille and Jeep badges, but little else that would make a real Jeep lover, one of those people who find spiritual renewal in driving over rocks and fording streams, want to buy.
That is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s all a matter of perspective, which gets us back to the business of giving necessity a kind face.
DaimlerChrysler’s Jeep group is in business to make money more than it is to make classic rough-riding models, such as the Jeep Wrangler.
But rising fuel prices, the trenchant nastiness of the anti-SUV crowd and the preference of American consumers for form over function have all combined to hurt sales of traditional Jeeps.
I personally don’t care if Jeep starts selling lite Jeeps to increase profits, as long as the Wrangler and other vehicles that are meant to be used in the mud maintain the ideals that make a Jeep a Jeep. I think that if Jeep were not attempting to meet the needs of consumers, we could ultimately see the demise of the true Jeeps.
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