"Today we have Compass and Patriot," but next year "we will have one vehicle," Jeep CEO Mike Manley told reporters.
He spoke during an informal gathering at Fiat-Chrysler's Chelsea Proving Grounds, located 60 miles west of Detroit.
Manley declined to say which name will be dropped. However, industry sources expect the Compass name will survive. The new crossover SUV will be labeled a 2017 model.
"There will be very significant differences between Compass and Patriot and the next generation across everything — styling, technology, interior accommodations," he said.
The new vehicle will be developed on the front-drive platform that is used for the Jeep Renegade, he said. However, the new model's dimensions will be similar to the current Compass and Patriot, not the smaller Renegade.
The Compass and Patriot have been very successful crossover SUVs. Last year, Jeep sold 61,300 Compass vehicles, nearly a 16 percent increase over a year earlier. Patriot sales totaled 93,500, a 23 percent surge. Their combined sales,154,800 vehicles, accounted for about 22 percent of all Jeeps sold in 2014.
The current Compass has a hatchback look, while the Patriot is boxy. However, under the sheet metal they are essentially identical. Offering one model in place of two will save Fiat-Chrysler tens of millions of dollars, according to industry estimates. The current models are built on the same assembly line at the automaker's Belvidere, Illinois, plant. They went on sale in 2006.
Edmunds says: Car shoppers in this hot segment will have a new Jeep crossover SUV to consider in short order.