Jeep has been the key brand of the financial success of FCA during the last 9 years. Many things have happened since 2009, when the brand was acquired by Fiat Group and made part of a big global player. As a SUV brand it has already the appealing to gain consumers all over the world. FCA knows it, and this is why it hasn’t stopped investing on its line up and global expansion.
Back in 2009, Jeep’s global sales totaled around 320.000 units. By that time, the brand was struggling with its sister brands Chrysler and Dodge to survive after the flop with Daimler, and the economic crisis. The range was composed by 6 models: Compass and Patriot, Liberty, Wrangler, Grand Cherokee and Commander, and USA counted for 73% of its global sales.
The priority of the new owner was to make of Jeep a real global player. It was clear that Sergio Marchionne had big things for the brand which was set to become even bigger than Fiat. Jeep global sales haven’t stopped growing since then with the exception of the tiny fall posted last year, when sales totaled 1,4 million units. This year Jeep targeted 1,9 million units, but the forecast shows that there will be 1,68 million Jeeps sold.
With the latest plan presented by Marchionne in early June 2018, Jeep is expected to make big increases in the coming 5 years. Even if the CEO didn’t give any specific sales target, he said two things about the goal for 2022. First, he said that Jeep will double its current sales (2017) by that year, which means that global volume would total 2,8 million units.
However, the presentation made by Manley included a slide containing the goal of Jeep counting for one in 12 of the SUVs sold globally in 2022. The forecast for the global SUV sales in 2022 is something between 39 and 40 million units. If this is the case, then Jeep’s sales target would grow up to 3,25 – 3,3 million vehicles. Therefore there is a difference of 400.000 units between both targets.
In any case, Sergio and his successor have a lot to do in order to double or more than double Jeep’s sales. The plan includes 5 more models that will join the current 6 cars range. If the company meets the product plan it is possible to see a big growth during the coming years. However, there are two facts against the ambitious sales targets.
The first one is Marchionne. He will be out of FCA in April 2019, so any plan or target set under his “government” is due to get modifications by his successor. The second fact is related to the poor achievement of FCA’s previous targets in both, sales and products. Jeep offers 6 models today, but only two are recording sales growth. As the Grand Cherokee, Renegade and Cherokee get aged, the priority could be their replacement and not the development of new models.
But Jeep is already working on the Scrambler (the pickup) and is expected to launch the all-new Grand Cherokee soon. The problem is that its launches don’t always follow a logical pattern in terms of timing, and sometimes it is too late when the new generations hit the market (the case of the Compass in Europe for instance). Jeep is set to grow in the coming years, but I’m afraid it won’t grow as fast as the company wants. It is a matter of time and product planning. In the best of the cases, it will sell around 2.4 million units in 2022.
Source: FGW database, Goodcarbadcar.net, FCA Capital Markets day presentations, Bestsellingcarsblog.com, Automotive News.