Some Of Jeep's Best Customers Simply Can't Afford The Brand Anymore

Some Of Jeep's Best Customers Simply Can't Afford The Brand Anymore

Jeep has been on a premium push the last few years. Products like the Grand Cherokee and Wagoneer have turned Jeep into a premium off-road brand. That upmarket push however has come at the expense of sales to some of the brands loyalist customers as Bloomberg reports.

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Sales for the brand are down across the board. Data from Bloomberg shows that the brand has gone from selling 267,000 vehicles in 2018 to 181,000 as of this summer.

Overall, unit sales for the Jeep brand fell 4% in the third quarter, the ninth consecutive quarterly decline, Stellantis reported earlier this month. Sales are down 9% this year through September, with all but two models—the Compass and the Grand Cherokee—reporting lower deliveries year-over-year. That’s after Jeep sales declined 12% in 2022 and 2% in 2021.

The problem is that Jeep’s vehicles now simply cost too much. The Wrangler, for instance, has seen its prices rise 40 percent more than the industry average of 31 percent according to data from Cox. Popular trims like the Wrangler Rubicon can easily go for over $60,000 sometimes $70,000. And it’s leaving buyers out.

“Their portfolio has lost touch with the mainstream consumer, and therefore the whole Jeep portfolio is less attractive,” former product planner at Fiat Chrysler Mark Kudla told Bloomberg.

Jeep has tried to get a hold on the situation by lowering prices in a way. The brand introduced a base version of the Grand Cherokee that starts at just over $38,000 with destination. And the Wrangler’s $32,000-$36,000 starting prices are still reasonable, but good luck finding one for that at the dealer. Data from Cox Automotive shows the Wrangler’s average transaction price was $59,000 in September.

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In a statement, Jeep’s North American head Jim Morrison tried to turn these negatives into a positive by saying the brand is making moves.

“Jeep is continuing to gain traction in the market, and we’re looking forward to continued success,” Jim Morrison, head of Jeep in North America, wrote in an emailed statement. Morrison said a monthly payment on Jeep’s Wrangler 4xe, the top-selling plug-in hybrid in the US so far this year, can be as low as $399 after factoring in the $7,500 consumer EV tax credit.

He left out that the Wrangler 4xe starts at over $60,000.