In a time where the SUV market is white-hot, Jeep has positioned itself as a cash-cow for Fiat Chyrsler Automobiles. Yet there are still gaps in the product lineup, and one of these positions were looking to be filled with the addition of a three-row flagship SUV, which is expected to be called the Jeep Wagoneer, along with a more extravagant, Land Rover-fighting Jeep Grand Wagoneer. But dealers have grown impatient, and industry aficionados have grown suspicious.
Jeeps three-row luxury SUV was spied for the first time last October, but hasn’t been seen since. With gas prices on the rise and a Chinese mandate on electrification, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer may have missed its golden opportunity, despite a billion dollars being earmarked for it.
John Murphy, research analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, predicted challenges over the next five years which includes reduced U.S. vehicle sales, higher interest rates, lower used-car values, increased fuel prices, elevated raw materials costs, and concentrated competition in the light-truck sector. These are all signs for harder times on dealers trying to sell high-priced vehicles.
Despite Murphy’s comments, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer was mentioned in FCA’s product-rich Investor Day presentation slides. And even though FCA has under-delivered on its promises a few times, we remain hopeful. It was as recent as March 2018 when Jeep chief Mike Manly commented on the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, saying it would be a highly premium SUV. Even still, the product remains elusive, apparently delayed, and bound to face geopolitical headwinds.
Source: Automotive News