Will its reported 2021 arrival be too late?
Jeep has not been shy regarding its planned Grand Wagoneer revival. Larger and more luxurious than the Grand Cherokee, the new Grand Wagoneer will be the brand’s future flagship SUV. There’s only one problem: it has still not debuted, and this is causing Jeep dealerships some justifiable concerns. According to Automotive News, some of these dealers are worried about rising gasoline prices and interest rates that will make the Grand Wagoneer more difficult to sell.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne first announced a three-row SUV over seven years ago, and yet it still hasn’t happened. “I think our window of opportunity is closing. We could have killed with (the Grand Wagoneer) if it had been available when they first told us about it, but it’s a much tougher sell with interest rates and gas prices going up.” Furthermore, the Grand Wagoneer isn’t due to arrive until the 2021 model year, so who knows what the retail climate for three-row luxury SUVs will be like at that time. However, industry analysts still believe it’ll sell well enough simply because it’s a Jeep. In the meantime, Jeep is missing out on sales that continue to go to Ford and GM, which sell the Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator and GMC Yukon.
In particular, the Expedition and Navigator have been smashing sales successes, and all Jeep dealers can do is look upon their Ford competition with envy. To add a bit more salt to the wound, a research analyst from Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes US vehicle sales could significantly slow down over the next five years. Possible factors include higher fuel prices and interest rates, more expensive raw material costs, and lower used car values.