EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 24, 2013

Jeep Grand Cherokee gets a makeover

If you look at the Jeep Grand Cherokee right now, this very week, you’ll see a good snapshot of a car company keeping people well engaged with a popular model.

Jeep just released the 2014 version of its Grand Cherokee, a full-size sport-utility vehicle that is the top-selling model in the Jeep line. The first samples of the 2014 Grand Cherokee arrived in Haverhill at Bill DeLuca’s Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership only about a week ago. At this moment they’re parked alongside 2013 Grand Cherokees, the outgoing versions that the car maker now no longer produces.

The new model is not a full-blown, next-generation remake, when everything about a vehicle changes. For the Grand Cherokee, that last occurred with the 2011 version. At that time Jeep brought out a fully updated, thoroughly contemporary SUV that was supple and streamlined, yet still retained the toughness and heft that people associate with the Jeep brand. That re-engineered model has been a big success, helping to reinvigorate Jeep and maintaining a position as one of the best selling full-size sport-utilities.

Today’s 2014 model retains the underpinnings introduced in 2011. But it picks up enough updates to be labeled a new version. It is “refreshed,” according to the term often used by auto companies.

Depending on business conditions, a complete re-do for any model – when a car is completely redesigned from tires to antenna tip – usually occurs every five or six years. A refresh typically comes in the middle, renewing a vehicle while its fundamental design still has two or three years left to run.

That schedule helps a car company maintain an active relationship with drivers.

It needs to. The auto industry is hyper competitive, with manufacturers competing to win your attention so they can win your business. A refreshed model gives them an opportunity to promote and advertise in order to grab your interest.

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