How the Jeep Grand Cherokee Saved Chrysler

We kind of forget how bad things were for Chrysler not five years ago, but after bankruptcy, bailout, and restructuring, the American automaker is on a tear. One could argue that is is in the best position to succeed of all three of the American carmakers. People forget just how bad things were. At its worst, you would be hard pressed to find a solidly decent car in Jeep, Chrysler or Dodge, the Ram 1500 being the only exception. The Jeep Grand Cherokee, though still on the better end of the Chrysler product portfolio, was still quite bad. Terrible fit and finish, overpriced, and a lackluster (read: a total dog) engine, the car still managed to sell well– a lone outlier in the way things were going for the beleaguered American carmaker. Then something happened– the redesigned the Grand Cherokee. It didn't happen overnight, and the ground work had been laid before Marchionne took over, but he, and all of Chrysler reap the rewards of a remarkably improved vehicle. One can outfit a Grand Cherokee with a powerful V8 and an adjustable airbag suspension. You know what else you can outfit like that? A Range Rover, which is exactly Jeeps target buyer with this car, and its actually working. The Grand Cherokee is one of the best selling vehicles in America and the car that marked the turnaround for Chrysler. It's hard to think back to how this car could have been so bad, but its just to see that it is no longer that way. Let us hope that continues.