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Jeep Compass Is Dead, Town & Country Becoming A Crossover

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A couple of weeks ago, told you about a string of vehicles that were being killed off by automakers. Now, we can add two more rides to that list: the Jeep Compass and the Chrysler Town & Country.

The news comes directly from Chrysler's biggest kahuna, CEO Sergio Marchionne, by way of AutoNews. Marchionne dropped the bombshells last week during a media event at a Chrysler plant in Belvidere, Illinois and in an interview with Automobile magazine.

The details

Of course, if you've been paying attention, you already knew that the Compass' days were numbered. As we mentioned back in February, the Compass and the Patriot were both slated to be replaced in 2013 by a new, slightly smaller SUV -- code name: B-SUV -- though the new model's rollout has now been pushed back to 2014.

The news here, then, is that the Patriot name will likely live on, while its close relative, the Compass, rolls off to meet its maker. During his comments in Illinois, Marchionne said that the Compass and the Patriot would both be built in Belvidere until 2014; after that, something else would take the place of the Compass on the assembly line. 

The details about the Town & Country are a little more surprising -- especially since we just reported earlier this month that Chrysler is testing plug-in hybrid versions of the minivan.

However, there's little arguing that Marchionne's move makes good business sense. The Town & Country shares a platform with Chrysler's other minivan, the Dodge Grand Caravan, and that platform is set to be replaced in 2014. Nixing one of the two models during the process would obviously cut costs and minimize competition from within the Chrysler family. (Adding a potentially high-selling crossover that could carry the well-known Town & Country name wouldn't hurt Chrysler's bottom line, either.)

Our take

Marchionne's business strategy continues to intrigue us. While automakers like GM and Ford spun off or shuttered brands during the Great Recession, Chrysler added two -- Ram and Fiat -- and is looking to add a sixth with Alfa Romeo.

At the same time, however, Marchionne seems to be weeding out duplication, which ultimately helps each of Chrysler's brands create a stronger identity for itself. That philosophy has been working for General Motors fairly well the past couple of years, so who's to say it can't work for Chrysler, too?

Will you miss the Compass or the Town & Country? Would you be interested in a Town & Country crossover? And what are your thoughts on Marchionne's product strategy? Drop us a line, or leave a note in the comments below.

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Comments (9)
  1. I'd like to see what replaces the compass. though it wasn't a bad little vehicle. but the patriot on the other hand. either needs an overhaul or to be killed.. and I'm glad Chrysler is going to explore the suv/crossover market again.

  2. RIP!

  3. Wow, the minivan was new, different and successful.
    A crossover nothing new there boring, non-event. Well let's see what are my choices, any other Xovers available

  4. The Mopar minivans suffered from a common disease in the automotive world, size creep. Compare the original 1980s minivans to today's "minivans"'and it so easy to see they are very obese when compared to the originals. Size creep also afflicts Honda Civics, Toyota Rav4s,and virtually every imported small truck. Manufacturers chose to bloat popular models rather than simply improve and modernize. They have been so adapt at this super sizing that many well known models have "outgrown" their usefulness.

  5. A 300C wagon would make a great Town and Country, perhaps even offer external woodgrain as an option.

  6. I have a Chrysler T&C and love it! However, by the time the new Crossover arrives I will be ready for it instead of another Minivan. Just make it beautiful unlike that horrible, ugly RX from Lexus.

  7. I don't understand why they need the RAM and SRT brands.
    It's getting confusing.
    The next T&C will be probably Journey's brother, while the next Patriot will be 500L's brother.
    It is strange however how they keep offering less Fiat models than Ferrari

  8. Makes sense. Thing is, that 700C concept is too good for Chrysler to pass up. Expect that to join their portfolio as the Town & Country's replacement.

  9. I think there is more to this than meets the eye. The term "kill" overstates the reality, as Chrysler adjusts it vehicle mix. It's logical that the well established Patriot name continues on an SUV below the Liberty (Cherokee?) replacement soon to be launched. Will the Compass name continue on an even smaller entry level mini Wrangler type global Jeep? Perhaps.
    The Chrysler Town and Country is an easy call as a new luxury crossover is due for the Chrysler brand which is moving upscale to replace the popular Pacifica crossover foolishly killed off by Ceberius in it's lunitic era. This new Town and Country gives Chrysler a luxury crossover again and the name lives on.

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