Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep brand will be a major focus for the automaker moving forward as utility vehicles continue to surge in popularity, both in North America and abroad. As FCA goes about investing $10.5 billion into electrification by 2022 – a key part of its new five-year strategy, which was announced today as CEO Sergio Marchionne delivered his final Investor Day presentation – 14 of the resulting electrified models will occupy the Jeep stable, including ten plug-in-hybrids and four pure, battery-electric vehicles. By 2021, every vehicle Jeep offers will have an available electrified powertrain.
But Jeep is also making a play to grow its presence outside of the crucial EV market, with FCA today announcing plans to bring Jeep into three new market segments. Overseas, the brand will launch a new A-segment (supermini) crossover, while North America (and perhaps a few other markets) receive not only the new Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer, but also a Jeep-branded pickup truck and a brand-new three-row take on the Grand Cherokee. The new products will take Jeep from 80- to 100-percent global market coverage, FCA says.
Finally, Jeep will enter the burgeoning car subscription market with “Jeep Wave” in 2019 – a combination subscription service, loyalty, and customer service program. For a monthly fee, customers will have borrowing access to long-term FCA rentals with options to purchase insurance coverage and concierge services, along with three different membership tiers. A “coin”-based rental service will also be available, where buyers of the Jeep Wrangler or one of the brand’s “Hawk” models – Trailhawk, Trackhawk, or the forthcoming Deserthawk – receive coins that allow them to borrow another FCA vehicle.
If, for instance, a Jeep Wrangler JL owner had to move apartments, he or she would be able to put their coins toward renting a Ram pickup. Customers would have the option of purchasing additional coins later, if so desired.
Jeep Wave will also encompass things like over-the-air software updates, and a 24/7 concierge service with stolen-vehicle tracking, emergency assistance, and other security-type services. In addition, it will give customers the hook-up with things like Jeep clubs and meets, VIP event tickets, news, music streaming, and other loyalty-building perks.
At today’s presentation, Fiat Chrysler said that it aims to grow to represent one in every 12 utility vehicles sold worldwide by 2022 – up from one in 17 today. Long-term, the brand’s goals are even more ambitious, with hopes that one out of every five new UVs sold will be a Jeep. Given the meteoric rise of the utility vehicle in recent years, even falling far short of those goals might be considered a success.