Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced his future plans for the Chrysler Group at a media event at Chrysler's Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois.
Marchionne wants the Chrysler brand to come out of the shadows of Daimler-Chrysler and become a more distinct name in the marketplace. Model sharing between Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram has been commonplace in recent years. The Compass shares its platform with the Jeep Patriot and the now-discontinued Dodge Caliber, the also-axed Dodge Nitro is a revised version of the Jeep Liberty, and the Chrysler Town & Country a near-identical vehicle to the Dodge Grand Caravan.
The updated Jeep Compass relaunched in Australia in January after an unsuccessful attempt to break the compact SUV market in 2007. In the first four months of this year, Jeep has sold 1052 Compasses across the country, which is more than it sold in total between 2007 and 2009.
With the demise of both the Compass and Town & Country, a new upscale crossover will join the market bearing the Chrysler name.
Despite Marchionne's model cull he is credited with adding brands such as Ram, Fiat and SRT to North America since 2009.
With enthusiasts making pleas for a high-performance SRT version of the new Dodge Dart, even before it was revealed in January, Automotive News reports it is definitely in the developmental phase with Marchionne saying, "The only thing we're fighting over now is to determine how big an engine we stick in it." Chrysler hasn't had a four-cylinder SRT in its lineup since 2009 when the Dodge Caliber SRT4 was dropped.
Australia's current Chrysler Group range is made up of the Chrysler 300C and Grand Voyager, the Dodge Journey (although some Caliber and Nitro stock remains) and the Jeep Patriot, Compass, Wrangler, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.