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Jeep Developing $100K+ SUV to Compete with Range Rover

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Jeep is developing a $100,000 luxury SUV to directly compete with Range Rover.

Sergio Marchionne Fiat-Chrysler CEO let it slip in Toronto recently at the opening of an Alfa Romero and Maserati dealership. Even though Jeep sales have increased 4 fold since 2009, due to the broad demand for SUVs and the success of their new models, Marchionne still feels that Jeep is missing an opportunity.

It’s a daring gambit, which will challenge the flexibility of a brand that began its existence selling army vehicles in World War II and has to date, managed not to isolate hard-core off-roaders. Depending on Range Rover selling prices, a luxury Jeep might command around $100,000 and help shore up profit margins.

The Jeep with the highest price tag is the Grand Cherokee which begins at around $30,000 but fully loaded that price can double. Jeep also announced that it will be bringing back the larger Grand Wagoneer by 2018. The Range Rover rival will sit above the Wagoneer in the line-up, which already has the entry level Cherokee and Renegade. Both the Cherokee and Renegade are popular at dealerships like Chapman Jeep, with buyers and critics.

Luxury models account for about 1/2 of booming SUV sales. The new luxury Jeep has some stiff competition like the new Maserati Levante SUV which will make its debut in 2016. Bentley is bringing out the most expensive and luxurious SUV, the Bentayga.

The competition doesn’t end there, Audi is introducing a new full-sized SUV the Q8 by 2020, that will also directly compete with the $63,600 Mercedes-Benz GL and BMW’s X7 which is still in development. Jaguars first crossover the F-Pace is due out next year. Porsche’s high end SUV the Cayenne has been their top selling model for the year so far through April. This year so far, Ford’s fastest gaining vehicle is the Lincoln Navigator, while it is the Cadillac Escalade at GM.

Jeep is expanding into markets outside North America namely China, Brazil and Italy, which is an effort to push the brand’s sales to 1.9 million in 2018 after only just setting the record 1 million mark last year. Jeep dealerships are expanding in China by approximately 30% his year. They plan to build the Cherokee there in November 2015 with the Renegade to follow in 2016.

Some markets know the Jeep brand but they are not fully aware of the full product line. The markets in China, along with some Asian and European segments, are ready for a high-end Jeep.

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