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Jeep to more than double sales by 2018

Just the start: The Jeep Renegade will help the company capitalise in the booming B-segment SUV market.

Six more factories and two all-new model lines by 2018 for rapidly expanding Jeep


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7 May 2014

JEEP will grow its manufacturing base from one country to six and add a pair of entirely new model lines in 2016 and 2018 as it looks to double its global production to 1.9 million vehicles inside five years.

The rapid expansion, outlined by Jeep president and CEO Mike Manley at parent company Fiat Chrysler’s Investor Day in Michigan overnight, sees Jeep anointed FCA’s “lead global brand”.

In a wide-ranging presentation, Mr Manley discussed FCA’s aspiration to return Jeep to its position as the world’s biggest maker of SUVs by 2018. The last time Jeep held this title was 1990. Today it has slipped to sixth position on the list.

The lynchpin of this plan will be to spread Jeep’s reach from its traditional US power base and further into Latin America and the Asia Pacific region (which includes Australia). Its global dealer network will expand from 4706 to 6023 inside five years.

Chief among its strategies to return to the top is the expansion of its production footprint and the addition of a brand new compact SUV replacement for both the Compass and Patriot in 2016, as well as a new seven-seater large SUV called the Grand Wagoneer in 2018.

These two models will join the brand new Renegade urban SUV revealed in January this year at the Detroit motor show and set to go on-sale across the globe throughout this year and into 2015.

In a complete rundown of its life-cycle plans for the next five years, Jeep revealed it would launch a mid-life Grand Cherokee update in 2015, a revised Cherokee and all-new compact SUV nameplate in 2016, a brand new Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, plus an updated Renegade in 2017 and the Grand Wagoneer, likely a stretched version of the GC, in 2018.

Mr Manley said the new Wrangler would retain its hardcore off-road abilities but make big steps in weight reduction, aero and fuel efficiency. The compact SUV will be based on the same modular FCA architecture as the smaller Renegade and larger Cherokee.

In a bid to diversify its production and cater to big growth markets across Latin America, Asia Pacific and the sub-continent, Jeep will broaden its production base from four plants in North America to 10 plants across six countries including China, India, Brazil and Italy. All told, Jeep expects to expand North American capacity to 1 million up from 800,000 today, and to build 500,000 units in Asia, 200,000 in Europe and 200,000 in Latin America.

This means Jeep expects to grow its global production from 798,000 units this year to 1.9 million by 2018.

Jeep expects 17 per cent of this growth to be a direct result of overall industry growth, 6 per cent to come from increased volume of existing models, 13 per cent from all-new model lines and a huge 64 per cent to step from what it calls “localisation”, meaning the expansion of its production lines into major markets.

“We will unlock the potential of some of the world’s largest markets by localising” production,” said Mr Manley.

Jeep figures show that overall global SUV production across the industry has grown from 6.45 million in 2009 to 15 million in 2014. Between 2014 and 2018, Jeep projects this figure to grow to 18.3 million.

Of this total, the Asia Pacific region (which includes Australia as well as China and India) is expected to account for about 8 million units, making it the single largest and fastest-growing region in the world.

The largest growth is projected to come from B-segment SUVs, which is tipped to increase from 1.9 million global sales in 2013 to 3.5 million in 2018. Jeep is poised to capitalise on this with its Italian, Brazilian and Chinese-made Renegade, due in Australia next year.

The planned model-line growth and sales boost over the next five years follows on from a successful past half-decade for Jeep. Between 2009 and 2014, the company launched five new models, eight product refreshes, 47 limited editions and invested 2.9 billion euros in manufacturing and product.

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