Jeep’s largest vehicles: the new 2022 Wagoneer full-size SUV and more premium 2022 Grand Wagoneer, have been on the market long enough for consumers to be aware of their existence, but not long enough to erase confusion. Jeep considers them to be two different models, competing in different segments, but from the same Wagoneer family, To play up Wagoneer as a sub-brand, the SUVs don’t even wear Jeep badging.
Many consumers don’t see the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer distinction. The most common misconception is that the Grand Wagoneer is a higher trim level, a more feature-loaded version of the Wagoneer. So, we asked Jeep’s two main bosses, Christian Meunier who is Global President of the Jeep Brand, and Jim Morrison, head of Jeep Brand North America, how the new models are being perceived and received.
What’s in a Name?
Why make them two separate models? Other automakers have separate mainstream and premium full-size SUVs, most compete in the segments with different nameplates and brands. GM has the Chevrolet Tahoe in the volume segment and the premium Cadillac Escalade. Ford has the mainstream Ford Expedition and upscale Lincoln Navigator.
“Entering into the white space for us, we thought it was a good way to leverage one with the other,” Morrison says.
The more affordable Jeep Wagoneer targets the mainstream, offering feature for feature what those customers are looking for, says Morrison. Grand Wagoneer is directly aimed at the premium large SUVs, tailoring its features accordingly. “The separation is there by powertrains and by content,” he says. “The differentiation is, feature for feature, powertrain for powertrain, based on what the competition have in each of those segments.”
Focus Was on Jeep Grand Wagoneer First
The full-size three-row SUV was a long time coming. The Grand Wagoneer was in the plans for years but kept getting delayed as Jeep tended to other models that also needed to be launched. When the Wagoneer name returned after a 30-year hiatus, the focus was on the Grand Wagoneer, Meunier says.
“That is the flagship. We wanted to re-establish the name and we’ve been very successful doing that.” It is the better seller. And the top-of-the top, the Grand Wagoneer Series III is the vehicle that doesn’t stay more than about three days on the lot, he says. “It is a good sign that we have been able to establish it this way.”
Meunier admits that Jeep needs to build more awareness at the lower Wagoneer level, the $60,000-$85,000 mainstream part of the segment. “This will take a little bit of time.” Some of it is chronology. The Wagoneer base Series I was last to launch. They did not start rolling off the line until this spring, and the addition widens the scope for buyers of all pocketbook sizes.
The executives say despite content differences, the Wagoneer shares the warm feeling that the Grand Wagoneer had in the past. And the mainstream Jeep is not a cheap version of the Grand Wagoneer, Meunier says. “It has the same bones and engineering and is well designed. It is a very good car. We made the Wagoneer look great and the Grand Wagoneer even greater.”
Long-Wheelbase Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer Coming
Adding to the confusion, the Wagoneer sub-brand will add extended L variants this year—not to be confused with the three-row Jeep Grand Cherokee L which is a three-row version of the smaller Grand Cherokee. The executives say it does not matter if consumers are confused as to whether they are two different families or two trims of the same family. “As long as they both feel good, we’re fine,” Morrison says.
In the U.S., the large SUV segment runs 70 percent mainstream and 30 percent premium. Jeep is skewing a bit higher than that with the Grand Wagoneer, Morrison says. And up to 20 percent of sales are top trim Series III.
Jeep expects more incremental sales when the extended-wheelbase Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer go on sale later this summer. They come standard with the new high-output Hurricane engine that is an option on some short-wheelbase Grand Wagoneers. Eventually the base and high-output Hurricane engines will be the core powertrain and we expect the V-8 will eventually be discontinued (but the execs won’t confirm that).
Long-wheelbase models are expected to be about 30 percent of total sales and attract a completely different customer who needs the space. Buyers typically don’t cross-shop short- to long-wheelbase, Morrison says.
Stellantis chief financial officer Richard Palmer said Jeep sales were a major contributor to the company’s 30 percent increase in net revenue in North America in the first quarter.
The 2023 Honda CR-V Shows Face, Interior, and Hybrid Badges
The AWD Ford Maverick Hybrid Seems To Be In the Works—With a Surprise
Ford’s Newly Electric 2,000-HP SuperVan Hauled Us Like the Mail
2023 BMW M3 Touring First Look: The Super Wagon Is Finally Here (Or Not)
Cadillac Celestiq Concept Teases Another Striking Vision of the Future
Source: Read Full Article