On the back of a $1 billion investment in their assembly lines in Michigan and Ohio, Jeep have also confirmed that the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will re-added onto the forever-burgeoning lineup of 4WDs and SUVs.
Sitting in a higher price and size bracket to the Grand Cherokee, the Wagoneer and Wagoneer will likely give Jeep a seven-seat option that can compete more directly with the likes of Land Rover’s Discovery and Toyota’s LandCruiser. The Grand Wagoneer is rumoured to have a $100,000+ starting price, which will pin it up against the likes of the Lexus LX570 and Range Rover.
Jeep’s sales figures and product lineup has grown quite well in recent years, but the last two years have proved to be tough in Australia. Last year, much of Jeep’s lineup has seen up to a 50% reduction in sales numbers.
Back in May 2015, Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne told Bloomberg “When I see a Range Rover on the street, my blood boils, because we should be able to do a thing like that,”
“And we will.”
This news comes after a couple of other big investments, which will give them more capacity to build the JK and JL Wrangler, as well as the soft-roading Cherokee and ‘full-sized’ Ram Truck. The JK will be built and sold alongside it’s JL successor for around six months, until it will make room for the upcoming Wrangler ute.
So far, there isn’t any confirmation of whether the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are destined for Australia, but seeing as the big LandCruiser and Range Rover both enjoyed a strong year of sales in 2016 (seeing a 28% and 15% rise in sales respectively), the Australian market would make a compelling argument for these big new 4WD utes.
Fiat Chrylser Australia are big fans of using existing internal architecture for their models, adding a bit of off-road spice to create models like the Renegade and upcoming Compass. But, to truly compete with the Range Rover, it will need to be very good off-road. That means something designed from the ground up to be luxurious, comfortable and immensely capable.
It will be great to see if this new model does make it to Australia. We’re always excited about a new 4X4 model in the wings. Let’s just hope there is enough case to make it with right-hook … and wood panelling.