Originally Posted by funkduck
Sure, developing a new platform costs a lot. They were going to develop some new platform anyway.
They will, but in the modern automotive economy, a platform needs to meet one of two criteria to be profitable:
-Sell ~150,000 units a year, spread out between all the vehicles on the platform
-Have existed long enough that the development costs generation to generation bring down development costs. However, here you run the risk of the platform eventually becoming obsolete, which killed the Ford Ranger and Crown Victoria last year
The Cherokee ran into obsolescence in 2001. To build a new one, they'd need to either build a vehicle that can sell at least 150,000 units a year (Unlikely) or share it between multiple brands (Likely, but not any time soon)
The other problem is that Chrysler simply doesn't have the engineering manpower and investment right now, not when, between Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Iveco, there are literally dozens of models that need attention first.
The problem with a new Cherokee is that it has a very limited market today. People are putting less and less emphasis on 4WD/AWD ability. The vast majority of Cherokee buyers are perfectly happy in a Patriot, or a Liberty, or a Wrangler, or any other of a number of other small CUVs/SUVs.
The other problem is that the market has expanded exponentially. In the '80s and '90s, the Cherokee was fundamentally unique in the marketplace-everything else with 4WD was a big, BOF vehicle or a SWB Wrangler competitor. Even by the time the Cherokee ended in '01, there were about a dozen possibly competitors, and only about 6 realistic competitors.
Today? There are about 60 vehicles that the Cherokee would be cross-shopped with, and the automotive marketplace is shrinking compared to the '90s.
A new Cherokee's best chance is if Ram or Iveco want to market a small, commercially-oriented SUV. But I wouldn't hold your breath.
tl;dr, a Cherokee just can't earn its economic keep in the modern marketplace.