And a solution needs to be found. Fast.
Ask anyone at FCA as to which brand has the highest global standing and the answer will be immediate: Jeep. While other brands have had their struggles, depending on the market, Jeep has been the crown jewel in the FCA brand lineup. However, according to Automotive News, Jeep may be in a little bit of sales trouble. Its global vehicle sales fell by 1 percent by last year to 1.4 million units and is not expected to hit its 2 million target for this year.
To its credit, Jeep has a fresh lineup and it has reduced US fleet sales, which was not very profitable. So where are the sales lacking? Europe. CEO Sergio Marchionne is specifically not happy about the disappointing European Cherokee sales. If you look at the numbers of the Cherokee in Europe, we haven't done right," he said. "I have now run out of patience, so we will get it done." The Grand Cherokee, however, was the brand's second-best seller in Europe last year, while the Renegade was number one. However, both vehicles experienced a sales decline from 2016 to 2017. The arrival of the new Jeep Compass helped in Europe somewhat.
On the bright side, Jeep sales in China are up and are expected to continue climbing thanks to the upcoming launch of the three-row Commander. Obviously Jeep needs to go back and try and figure out the reason(s) for this decline before things get worse. Is the issue product? A lack of interest in SUVs? That's what Jeep CEO Mike Manley needs to figure out, and fast. His boss, Sergio Marchionne, is expecting answers and, ultimately, solutions.