Bigger ship, same anchor.
While plenty of questions linger about how Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and France’s PSA Group will intertwine as they merge into Stellantis this week, one thing is clear: Jeep will be a top priority, whatever its parent company is called.
The adventure brand will remain a force in the U.S. and make more inroads globally as a cornerstone of Stellantis, with an onslaught of products designed to take Jeep upstream and into new segments as dealers increasingly spend millions of dollars to build flashy Jeep-only showrooms.
That was evident last week with the debut of a three-row Grand Cherokee, a first for Jeep’s top-selling U.S. nameplate. The Grand Cherokee L, laced with a premium interior and sporting fresh styling, suddenly puts the storied SUV on the radars of those in search of more space.
And it might turn heads in markets outside the U.S., including the Middle East and Australia, where three-row models are popular, said Christian Meunier, Jeep’s global president. A redesigned two-row version, which will have a hybrid variant, is expected to reach the brand’s roughly 2,400 U.S. dealerships in the third quarter.
“We think the potential of Jeep is not optimized yet. I think there’s still a lot of room for us to grow,” Meunier told Automotive News. “The three-row expansion for Grand Cherokee is a big step. The Grand Wagoneer [and] the Wagoneer, another step. The electrification of Jeep — really another way to expand the brand and to make the brand even sexier than it is today.”
Meunier said he sees “an opportunity to broaden our appeal to people today that like Jeep but are not considering Jeep.” The goal is “to make Jeep bigger without diluting the brand and the DNA,” Meunier said.