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Chrysler Will Cut Town And Country In Small Crossover Shake-up

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On: Thu, May 31, 2012 at 10:31AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chrysler Will Cut Town And Country In Small Crossover Shake-up

Years ago, minivans were gradually phased out as the ride of choice for families and soccer teams, first by the SUV, and then by the more efficient crossover. Only problem is, someone forgot to tell a few of the remaining minivan stalwarts from the 80s. Fiat/Chrysler is just now getting around to doing the job on the Town & Country.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said that it will phase out the Town & Country in 2014 to make room for a new small crossover. At the same time, it will axe the Compass from Jeep's lineup, essentially shifting the small crossover over to the Chrysler brand. The crossover should be more upscale and expensive than the entry level Compass, in line with Chrysler's identity of (or attempt at) luxury.

The move is part of a greater strategy to create more distinct products and identities for each brand, something that Fiat has been working on since taking a stake in Chrysler back in 2009. Dodge will continue to produce the Grand Caravan, making the Town & Country an unnecessary redundancy in Fiat's eyes.

The automaker also feels that the Jeep Compass and Patriot are too closely related, so it will remove the former from the line. The elimination of the Compass should also give Jeep a more uniform selection of hard-lined SUVs. The soft curves of the small Compass never quite fit in - and looked downright awkward if we're speaking freely.

The move is the latest in an ongoing branding strategy that has seen Ram split from Dodge as a separate truck brand and SRT created as a standalone performance brand (and home of the new Viper).


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