• Sep 5, 2008
News out of Toledo is that Chrysler plans to drop either the Jeep Liberty or the Dodge Nitro within four years and merge the two vehicles into one. These two 'utes are built on the same exact platform, use basically the same engines and are built in the same Toledo plant. There is no good reason for both of them to exist, which makes us wonder why they ever did in the first place and why it will take three years to correct. Regardless, considering that Jeep will always be the off-road brand, it would make most sense to keep the Liberty name going. Losing the Nitro, meanwhile, might actually help Dodge improve its image as a volume performance brand.

This convergence of duplicate vehicles is part of Chrysler's Project Genesis plan. Under the plan, dealers will begin to offer Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles under the same roof. Other nameplates that are or should be converged include the Jeep Compass/Jeep Patriot and Dodge Durango/Chrysler Aspen, the latter of which could see themselves replaced by a new model with Jeep underpinnings.

[Source: The Toledo Blade]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      They're not the same vehicle? I thought one was the sport type model.

      Why on earth would you create more than one vehicle in the same class in these times (Durango and Nitro for those who don't know). Oh yes, those two are in the same class. Then you have the Jeep brands too? It's like making a Sebring and a Stratus, but both being sold by Dodge.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Drop the Nitro obviously, though I like the styling there's no reason it should exist.

      The Liberty also needs to be renamed back to Cherokee. It's a brand name with lots of image and heritage Chrysler had that should have never been dropped in the first place. Especially now that the Liberty has adopted styling that looks more like a classic Cherokee than the round and smiley Liberty when it debuted.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Which is funny, because I liked the round, smiley Liberty more than the Cherokee styling. It was a cute 'ute, but it seemed to spring from the Wrangler and classic Jeeps with round headlights and all. I still don't know why they made the shift.

        All that discrepancy just gives me three words for Jeep: "cohesive design language."
        • 6 Years Ago
        Um, Canada is outside of the USA, and it is called the Liberty up here as well. Jeesh!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Don't forget that outside the U.S., it still IS the Cherokee. The transformation from Liberty to Cherokee would not be a big deal:

        http://www.jeep.co.uk/cherokee/
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It is called the Cherokee outside NA. "Liberty" only plays well in the US. I do agree, though, the Cherokee name has cache and is also logical as the car slotting below the Grand.
        • 6 Years Ago
        There's a pretty good compromise to that.

        Slap a Jeep grill on the Nitro and rename it the Jeep Cherokee. This way, you have both the better styling and the more iconic name.
      Jeremy Wayne
      • 6 Years Ago
      I say just kill the Durango and keep the Nitro and Liberty. Just change them up enough to look different...use the Patriot and Caliber as an example. I think the first gen. Durango is still better than the current one. The Nitro fills that void...my dad still wishes that Dodge would make a new Ram Charger, so they could even make a two door Nitro and have the Liberty as a four door.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Jeep should be the off roading / suv brand. Hopefully the next version of the Liberty will have a better interior. That has been it's biggest downfall. Well that and the name, Liberty, really?

      The Commander is on it's way out. The Compass should be shown the door.

      The Liberty should become the Cherokee with its big brother being the Grand Cherokee. Just like it was a few years ago.

      Of course a smaller cross between a Wrangler and a Cherokee might also be a good fit. But then again wouldn't that be the Compass?
      • 6 Years Ago
      >>> In my opinion, the Liberty should remain in production with the Nitro being discontinued. However, on the flip side of that same coin, perhaps the Liberty-Nitro platform could be utilized for a small pickup truck along the lines of the Dodge M80 or Jeep JT.

      As for further product consolidation, the Compass should be phased leaving Jeep with the iconic Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Liberty and Patriot. We already know the Commander is on it's way out.

      As for Dodge, with the introduction of the Journey crossover with Durango could also be retired. Large seven and eight passenger vehicles may have been all the rage at one time, but that ship has long sailed over the horizon with the price of fuel hovering at $4 a gallon.

      Chrysler could hold on to the Aspen since it represents the brand's "near-luxury" division and phase out the Town and Country van, leaving that segment to the Caravan.

      Both the 300 and Charger should stay as each is targeted to a specific group (luxury vs. performance). The new Challenger is more of a specialty or niche vehicle which the company needs and should continuing developing cars for that segment.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If I were running the show, I know I would make it worse, I would make Jeep the SUV brand. Dodge would keep the Durango only along with the lx cars and the small everyday drivers and Chrysler would be the premium brand with the 300 but drop the Aspen and an updated and up scaled Sebring.

      Only Ford/ Lincoln are worse in their interbrand competition.

      • 6 Years Ago
      the Only reason that I see waiting 4 years to drop the Nitro is if Chrysler is looking to sell off Jeep. this will allow them to keep SUV's under the Dodge name after the sale.
      As for the Patriot/Compass - I dont think that anyone thinks that building both of them as Jeeps was a good idea. the Patriot is the most loyal interpretatin of the original Cherokee and should be maintained. The Liberty has gotten too large and could be dropped without much harm - the GC and 4 door wrangler more than cover its ground.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How about canceling them and making nicer cars like the Firepower, Nassau and Renegade?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Call it the Cherokee, but give it the Nitro's longer, slightly lower proportions.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The liberty has been a sales sucess, Give the limited a 4.0 v6 and AX the nitro

      Jason
        • 6 Years Ago
        Does it even need the 4.0? The 3.7L PowerTech is awesomely torquey. Sometimes, you forget it only has 210hp...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Considering they are in the middle of this project genesis right now, why did they JUST release the aspen and durango hybrids?
      • 6 Years Ago
      The reason it takes several years is because they want to make as much money as they can to pay back some of the tooling costs.

      This makes sense. Keep the RAM, keep the Durango - but the Nitro needs to go. Dak. needs to become a small truck, or go away all together.
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