Chrysler's Jeep Grand Cherokee relaunch will buy time

A Chrysler dealership sign

by Alisa Roth

A year after Fiat joined Chrysler, the U.S. brand is relaunching the Jeep Grand Cherokee, one of its most popular brands, to buy some time before it has a new model ready in showrooms.

When Fiat took over Chrysler last year, the company didn't have any new vehicles in the pipeline. Auto industry analyst Alan Baum says Chrysler's been getting its act together over the last 12 months. "They've obviously righted the ship in terms of management and having a plan, their product plan is a reasonable one going forward."

Baum says it'll be at least a year before Chrysler gets a new model into showrooms, possibly even two or three. Relaunching the Jeep Grand Cherokee is an interim solution.

Dave Boule with PCG Campbell, a marketing firm specializing in the auto industry, says Chrysler's going to spend a lot of money promoting the brand. "Companies have to sell what they're making and currently that's what they have."

Nobody expects that relaunching the Cherokee is going to turn the company around. But the SUV could help it hold on until it has some new models to sell.

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