Chrysler to Double SUV Lineup

Date Posted 09-26-2005

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Chrysler’s upcoming SUV product offensive, focused mainly on small and midsize offerings, seems to disregard the impact of rising fuel prices on consumers.

The Wall Street Journal said Monday the automaker will present the lineup, which includes the Chrysler Aspen, Dodge Nitro, Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot and Jeep Wrangler, to the DaimlerChrysler supervisory board here today. The move would increase from five to 10 the number of SUVs offered by the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands.

The compact Patriot and Compass will debut in summer 2006, followed by the midsize Nitro in fall 2006. A redesigned Wrangler is due in late 2006 or 2007, and the Durango-based, full-size Aspen will hit the market in 2007 or 2008.

The newspaper said the product launch will also include a two-door Challenger coupe to compete with the Ford Mustang.

What this means to you: Ford is betting on gas-electric hybrids, GM is betting on full-size SUVs, and Chrysler is straddling the fence and betting consumers will still have a taste for cozy SUVs.

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