The Chrysler Group has gotten tons of PR mileage out of the popularity of the Dodge Caliber, to the point where dealers haven’t been able to keep them in stock and consumers have to beg for a test drive (new Calibers net more profit than demos, after all). Unfortunately for the automaker, the Caliber’s stablemate, the Jeep Compass, isn’t enjoying the same successes. As the first car-based Jeep to hit the streets, the Caliber’s sales have been lower than projected despite the vehicle’s distinctive styling and sharp interior. The problem seems to be the 2006 models glutting dealer lots, giving potential Compass buyers food for thought — a 2007 Compass doesn’t represent the same kind of deal as, say, a loaded up 2006 Jeep Liberty.
Automotive News reports that the transaction price of the Dodge Caliber has risen since its introduction, beginning at $17,059 in March and then up to $18,276 by the end of September, while the Compass’ price has lowered from $22,467 at launch to $21,534.
Jeep has quite a predicament on its hands if the Liberty and even Grand Cherokee are cannibalizing Compass sales — evidently yet another drawback to Chrysler’s resistance to cutting production when showrooms first started clogging up. We’ll see how the situation evolves when the Patriot comes out. [Automotive News via AutoWeek]