By Nick Aziz
Tuesday, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 9:41 am
 
Seven months ago, in October, Leftlane exclusively reported Chrysler planned to kill off the Jeep Commander some time in 2009, tipped by supplier sources. This week, financial publication Bloomberg said sources at Chrysler parent company Cerberus Capital Management confirmed the worst-selling Jeep model is done for.



What the new reported failed to mention is something our sources have been saying for months -- once the Commander is gone it will be replaced by a long-wheelbase version of the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Some sources say the next-gen Grand Cherokee will be built on a chassis shared with Mercedes-Benz. Sources indicated this is still the plan even after the separation of Daimler and Chrysler. Obviously Chrysler's new management wants to save wherever possible "" sharing the cost of chassis development (which is hugely expensive) is a great way to do that. That said, it would be wise to keep in mind that Chrysler is still in the midst of a turn around and anything is possible.

Introduced at the New York auto show in 2005, the Commander will only go for one life cycle. Slow sales and company reorganization "" along with weak fuel economy and poor reviews "" have doomed Jeep's seven-passenger 'ute.

Jeep sold 88,000 Commanders in 2006 thanks to heavy discounts, averaging between $6,000 and $8,000. Analysts suspect the Commander mostly cannibalized sales of the slightly smaller Grand Cherokee, rather than bringing in new customers. The company sold 139,000 Grand Cherokees last year, down 75,000 from the previous year.