The German business daily Handelsblatt reported today that DaimlerChrysler may keep the Jeep brand if it eventually sells the Chrysler Group. The reason is that Jeeps fit well the Mercedes-Benz brand and offers unique product that Daimler couldn't offer on its own. If true, that would mean interested parties would be bidding on the Chrysler and Dodge brands alone. Of course, a few Jeep vehicles like the Compass share their platforms with other Chrysler Group models like the Dodge Caliber, so those links would likely still remain for some time after a potential sale. Considering that the only two companies who appear to have expressed any interest in purchasing the Chrysler Group are General Motors and Magna, taking Jeep off the table would likely make the deal even less attractive than many analysts claim it to be. Jeep sold about 595,000 units in 2006 and sales were up 14% in January and down 5% in February.
Thanks for the tip, JuanTan!