Sales figure analysis reveals a reversal of fortune in Europe’s off-roader market
8 May 2019

The balance of power in Europe’s ‘proper’ off-roader market is undergoing a seismic shift, with Jeep models outselling Land Rover for the first time last year. 

Traditionally Land Rover has ruled the roost in Europe while Jeep dominates in the US, but the 2018 figures are brutal for Land Rover. Last year it shifted just over 150,000 units across Europe after sales dipped 10%, while Jeep demand shot up 56% to leapfrog Land Rover with sales of 166,500, according to data from industry analysts JATO Dynamics. 

Until now Jeep has remained a marginal brand in Europe while its centre of gravity was fixed in the US, but that changed when Fiat took over parent company Chrysler in 2011. The newly created Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) designed models such as the Renegade specifically for Europe and shifted some manufacturing to an underused Fiat factory in Italy. European sales leapt. 

But any comparisons with Land Rover need to be qualified with a look at the British car maker’s positioning relative to Jeep. They both lean heavily on off-road heritage – the ‘currency of capability’ as Jeep calls it – but really they’re no longer competitors. Last year the average price of a Jeep sold in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK was £27,176. Land Rover’s average price in the same countries was more than double, at £54,600, JATO’s research shows. 

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Jeep’s success is largely down to the Renegade and, the new Compass, a Nissan Qashqai rival. Fewer than 20,000 of Jeep’s sales were taken by the big Grand Cherokee, the Wrangler and the barely registering Cherokee. Land Rover may have problems, but it sold 25,097 Range Rover Sports alone in Europe and slightly more of the almost-as-expensive Velar

Jeep is highly dependent on Italy, just as Land Rover is highly dependent on UK sales. Half of all European Jeeps were sold in Italy last year, while the UK took half of all Land Rover’s European sales. Frankly, we’re just not that into Jeep: only 4% of all Jeeps sold in Europe came to the UK last year. 

Jeep might lose out to Land Rover this year after the launch of the new Range Rover Evoque, traditionally the brand’s biggest seller. “The sustainability of Jeep’s growth depends on how fast the company brings more models,” said Felipe Munoz, global analyst for JATO. “The Compass will not be able to drive the growth by itself.” 

Jeep is planning big growth in areas where Land Rover plays, however. The new Wrangler has beaten the new Defender to market, and a long-promised large seven-seater Jeep arrives next year. Last year Jeep also announced a smaller ‘low’ seven-seater targeting the Discovery Sport

Electrification is a key area, too, with both brands working to comply with tough new CO2 targets. The go-anywhere brand identification starts to fall apart when you’re tied to a plug, something Land Rover highlighted with its April Fool’s press release of the UK’s most remote charging point

Even so, Jeep is promising four pure EVs by 2022, but not for Europe. Both brands are pushing plug-in hybrids, with Jeep promising eight for Europe by 2022, starting with the Renegade and Compass next year, while Land Rover is extending its PHEV reach to include the Evoque next year. 

The two famous off-road brands might have diverged in recent years, but electrification and the slow death of diesel have created challenges far tougher than those presented by the great outdoors.

Nick Gibbs

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Updated Land Rover Discovery Sport to get plug-in hybrid​

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Comments
19

jer

8 May 2019

Where they make them and Fiat have a large dealer network.

8 May 2019

Hardly direct rivals.the Renegade is class below (maybe a couple) lower then the Evoque and probably half the price. 

8 May 2019
GODFATHER wrote:

Hardly direct rivals.the Renegade is class below (maybe a couple) lower then the Evoque and probably half the price. 

Some folk say the two brands are not rivals but I disgree. If you look at the latest reliability suvey in Autocar's sister magazine WhatCar!  Nov/Dec 2018,  both manufacturer's battle it out to see who can come bottom of their respective class.

8 May 2019

but the article itself (mostly) sets the record straight - they are not direct competitors.

8 May 2019
Jeep know what they are doing, and are not embarrassed by their muddy utilitarian past.

8 May 2019

£20k FWD 1.0 3 pot Renegade is hardy a off roader, what about the Renault Capur that probably outsold both in Europe

8 May 2019

Jeep produced a small 4x4...which is exactly what Land Rover SHOULD have done!  But JLR is so incredibly inept that they think continually going upmarket with bigger cars is the way.  The weird thing is, they even had the name (Freelander) to give to a small 4x4.  But instead, they pushed that model up to stupid costs and then killed it!  The DC100 could have been a small JLR 4x4, but they killed that, too.  I cannot understand for the life of me why Tata haven't sacked the entire management at JLR, they are a joke.  I can only think that Tata is equally inept.  I feel sorry for the workers (in Slovakia!) but JLR deserves to die.  The latest decision (to build the Defender in Slovakia) shows they haven't a clue.  Jeep won't ever build the Wrangler anywhere else but the US - they know that was key to its future success.  The whole ethos of management in Britain needs to be investigated, from councils to big companies.  We can't manage.

8 May 2019

Erm.. The Discovery Srort has consistently sold more than the Freelander.

8 May 2019
Re Defender production I agree.

Of all the cars they make, Range Rover and Defender absolutely must be made in UK.

For the rest, it is less important.

I also agree that the people running LR should be sacked. Inept, foolishly politically charged, and in the case of McGovern and his buffoonish Discovery 5, hysterically overrated.

11 May 2019
Bazzer wrote:

Jeep produced a small 4x4...which is exactly what Land Rover SHOULD have done!  But JLR is so incredibly inept that they think continually going upmarket with bigger cars is the way.  The weird thing is, they even had the name (Freelander) to give to a small 4x4.  But instead, they pushed that model up to stupid costs and then killed it!  The DC100 could have been a small JLR 4x4, but they killed that, too.  I cannot understand for the life of me why Tata haven't sacked the entire management at JLR, they are a joke.  I can only think that Tata is equally inept.  I feel sorry for the workers (in Slovakia!) but JLR deserves to die.  The latest decision (to build the Defender in Slovakia) shows they haven't a clue.  Jeep won't ever build the Wrangler anywhere else but the US - they know that was key to its future success.  The whole ethos of management in Britain needs to be investigated, from councils to big companies.  We can't manage.

 

You are clearly one of those opinionated bores who assume everyone except you is a complete fuck wit. I refuse to be lectured to by someone like that

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