Confused? Allow us to explain.
This week, Jeep finally launched the all-new Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer SUV models, and both vehicles are stunning alternatives to Cadillac's brilliant Escalade. With a whole new focus on a luxury customer experience, both during and after the sale process, it's clear that Jeep is doing this differently with the new SUV. One of the things that are different and that eagle-eyed readers may have already picked up on is that you never actually see the Jeep logo displayed anywhere on the vehicles. Even the center caps and steering wheel read Wagoneer, not Jeep. So why is this? Simple, it's all about marketing, as Jeep told The Drive.
Basically, Jeep is saying that it doesn't view itself as luxurious enough a brand, despite the fact that Jeep dealers will be responsible for every part of the Wagoneer's "luxury experience". According to Jeep CEO Christian Meunier, "The root of Jeep isn't hidden (referring to the Jeep design cues like the seven-slot grille) but we believe there is a need to position it further with the more high-end Wagoneer. At the same time, it's a combination of values that is a little different; it's also adding tech, sophistication, and is an evolution from Jeep." Those don't sound like the words of a man who believes he's working for a cutting-edge marque, and based on the quality issues that old Stellantis products have exhibited, distancing these hyper-expensive luxury models from the Jeep brand isn't a bad thing.
So although it's made by Jeep, sold by Jeep, and maintained by Jeep, the Wagoneer nameplate is essentially its own two-model brand, elevated above the level of the rugged and rough vehicles that Jeep is normally known for. It's sort of like what Citroen did with the DS brand, and reminiscent of the time when Dodge was deemed not cool enough to sell the Viper, resulting in the creation of the SRT "brand", although that decision was backtracked on later. Does all this really matter? Probably not. If someone asks you what you drive and you tell them it's a Wagoneer, they're either going to respond with, "Oh, that new Jeep" or ask who makes it. But for those with little to no experience of the Jeep brand, it'll just look like some seriously fancy SUV, and that's what Stellantis is trying to achieve.