Originally Posted by DogsJeep
"Sure, Jeep has always been known for its great off-roading capabilities, and will probably continue to be perceived that way for years to come. It's what's made it into somewhat of a 'niche' brand. However, as much as this may be the mindframe, a purely niche oriented brand can suffer in the long run. Now more than ever, there is a need for compact vehicles with utility-inclined features. The compact market is something that Jeep, or DaimlerChrysler for that matter has not spearheaded with models that will really compete. We all know the story of the sad fate of the Dodge Neon. Ever since the Dodge Omni, there hasn't been a DCX compact that has truly been able to compete.
Further, through my many forum travels I've noticed that there's an incessant domestic cry for improvement. Improvement of fuel economy, quality, sales, resale value, brand image. The 2007 Jeep Compass has filled a gap that Jeep enthusiasts were not aware existed. The fuel-economy gap. Coupled with affordability, this vehicle will definitely fare well in the mass market."
Now, in this sense, what I mean by improvement of brand image is "expansion". Sorry for not making it as clear in my post. Many of you may say, ok, expansion is fine, but expansion does not always equate to improvement. From an enthusiast's standpoint, you may be correct, however, from a business vantage point this is not the case. Irrespective of what model additions are enacted for the Jeep brand, the Jeep name and persona will not be compromised. On the other hand, I certainly do agree with you that the Jeep Compass will not be able to delve in to the same terrain as a Jeep Wrangler, but this does not mean that the vehicle is not a Jeep. Surely, the Jeep brand image is one that immediately evokes images of treacherous terrains, however, as mainstream demand dictates a company's direction, Jeep has embraced the more utilitarian and affordable wants of young buyers. Jeep is undoubtedly thinking outside of the box. This does not mean that our current product is sub-par by any means, it only means that Jeep is attempting to encompass (no pun intended) a wider audience.
Wider audience = Higher sales volume
Higher sales volume = Higher revenue
Higher revenue = More money for R&D
More money for R&D = More room for tinkering or assessing requests from smaller sales groups (enthusiasts)
Furthermore, you must remember that the Compass is a vehicle that has off-roading capability, thus, it does not wholly disregard what Jeep has long been known for. In addition, being obvious Jeep advocates, we all know from where the current stronghold of foreign influence on the market first began. Compact vehicles with excellent fuel economy. With the insane increase in fuel costs, this is a great phase to introduce a model like the Jeep Compass.