Jeep will launch four new models in Europe in 2018 as it looks to improve on its “lousy” performance last year.
That’s how Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) boss Sergio Marchionne described Jeep’s European sales, which grew just 2% to 107,569 cars in 2017 despite a recently refreshed line-up, spearheaded by the new Compass.
Now, the roll-out of the new Compass is soon to be complete, and it will be imminently joined by a revised version of the Cherokee and a Renegade this summer, ahead of the launch of the all-new Wrangler in Europe later this year as Jeep looks for Europe to help push it towards two million sales in the medium-term, up from just under 1.4m in 2017.
Jeff Hines, Jeeps’ new European boss, described last year’s sales in Europe as “disappointing”, which he put down to delays in getting the new Compass to market in one of the continent’s biggest segments. “For 2018 vs 2017, I expect a lot better,” he said, saying this year would be “the year of Jeep” in Europe.
He also believed that Jeep could “find space” to succeed in the UK, despite the presence of Land Rover. The role of dealers will be key to this, said Hines, who said Jeep had to find a way “to help communicate all these things in an easy to understand way”. He added: “That’s the biggest challenge for us,” in telling the firm’s potential customers about the brand’s new cars.
“What some customers may not realise is how the great dynamics and interior can make a Jeep a great daily driver that can fit all your needs,” said Hines, in reference to the fact the cars were often still viewed as utilitarian 4x4s.
The revised Renegade would be revealed on June 1 at the wider FCA presentation into the future of its brands, where Jeep’s targets and future model strategy will be outlined for its investors.
Jeep’s growth plans could also be harmed by a falling demand for diesel in Europe, but Hines believed the fuel still has a role in Europe and the firm was also now planning for hybrids, plans for which would be confirmed on June 1.