For all the 4×4 enthusiasts out there, there is good news from Jeep. There are a lot of models in the pipeline, from an all-new subcompact to a revival of the full-size Grand Wagoneer, and a replacement for the Compass and Patriot.
Chrysler has long recognized Jeep’s international appeal. This year, about 25% of Jeep sales are coming from outside North America, up from an average of 20% in the past. Global sales were 701,000 vehicles in 2012 and this year’s total will be significantly higher. That’s not bad given that the automaker did not have the Jeep Liberty for most of the year and the Cherokee that replaced it only went on sale in late October.
With the launch of the midsize Cherokee behind him, Jeep CEO Mike Manley is concentrating on the smallest Jeep ever sold in the U.S. The subcompact will be built in Italy for global markets and go on sale about a year from now. Manley said a name has been chosen for the vehicle, but he didn’t reveal it. The small SUV explores new marketing territory for Jeep, and will compete with the Mini Contryman or the Kia Soul.
At the large end of the spectrum is the Grand Wagoneer. Engineered from the underpinnings of the Grand Cherokee with room for a third row of seats, the Grand Wagoneer will be the most luxurious and priciest Jeep ever made.
“We’re looking to make a statement in that segment,” Manley said.
Still to come is a new model that will replace both the Compass and Patriot. The two compact vehicles are selling well in the final years of their lifecycle. Through November, Compass sales in the U.S. are up 33% and Patriot sales rose 21% from a year ago. As for the next-generation Wrangler, it’s still a few years out. With a timeless design and no direct competition, the Wrangler can have a longer lifecycle.
by Aurel Niculescu
) - Monday, December 16th, 2013 - filed under Industry
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