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Unread 08-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #76
Marauder_Pilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkduck View Post
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.

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Unread 08-23-2012, 10:51 PM   #77
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Unread 08-24-2012, 02:56 PM   #78
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I'm not in disagreement that they WON'T build a worthy XJ replacement, I only suggest that a demand presently exists.

Looking at muscle cars, there was an era in which that segment was being served, and then a period of time where it wasn't being served, and people were stuck building up old steel because not a lot of the 80s or 90s dreck was up to task, finally the O.G. steel became so scarce and the demand so high that OEMs were forced to take notice and today we can take our pick of a number of pretty legit showroom-fast cars.

I would like to venture the suggestion that a time will come when old steel has become scarce and new tin hasn't adequately replaced it, and the first manufacturer to offer beef underpinnings bolted to an agile cabin is going to clean up.
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Unread 08-24-2012, 07:22 PM   #79
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The muscle cars have two big benefits that a Cherokee replacement wouldn't.

One, they're dream cars. The Cherokee isn't a boring vehicle, but you don't see a whole lot of kids playing with toy Cherokees, or hanging posters of Cherokees on their wall.

Two, the Camaro and Challenger are all based of high-selling sedans that pay for the platform development costs. The Challenger is based off the LX platform that underpins the 300 and Charger, which easily pay for the platform development costs themselves, while the Camaro is based off the Australian Holden Commodore. The Mustang also has a continuous development history that amortizes a lot of development costs, like the Wrangler.

Plus, it goes back to the competition arguement. If someone wants a mid-size utility vehicle, capable of handling 5 passengers, a respectable amount of cargo, rough weather and mild off-roading, like most Cherokee buyers, they have literally dozens of options. If someone wants a muscle car, they've only got 3. Hell, if they just want an RWD, V6 or V8 coupe, they've only got about two dozen, and that runs the gamut from Hyundai to Rolls Royce. The Challenger is fundamentally unique in the marketplace, the Mustang and Camaro only directly compete with each other, and the whole affordable RWD coupe marketplace consists of those three and the Hyundai Genesis.

EDIT: There's definitely a demand for a vehicle like the Cherokee. Lots of former Cherokee buyers have 'settled' for either a cheaper SUV, a Wrangler Unlimited or a Tahoe/Yukon, depending on their personal demands, but there's definitely a market for a reasonably simple, rugged, unitbody, off-road capable SUV. The problem is that moving 150,000 a year.

There is one way to do it: Chrysler developing a unitbody platform that can handle IFS and live front axles, with a live rear, and marketing in four places: underpinning a new Cherokee, the Dakota replacement, and a small utility SUV badged as a Ram and an Iveco aimed at fleet buyers as a smaller competitor to the Yukon/Tahoe in North America and the Land Rover Defender overseas.

That said, it's easier, cheaper and more likely for Ram to use a different unitbody platform for the Dakota replacement, and make a metal-roofed version of the Wrangler. If a new Cherokee is built, it will, in all likelihood, bear more resemblance to the SJ than the XJ.
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| ARB/Old Man Emu | Northridge 4x4 Canada | Warn | Modern Classic Enterprises | American Expeditionary Vehicles | GenRight | Poison Spyder | OR-FAB | Metalcloak | East CoastGear Supply | JKS | M.O.R.E. |

2000 Jeep Wrangler TJ Sport-OME HD Lift, ProComp bumper, 32" BFG TA K/Os
1994 GMC Sierra 1500 2WD-Stock
2010 Kawasaki KLR650-Stock
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