They can cater to the Jeep lifestyle.
The car-buying process is changing as automakers focus on improving the experience for customers. Some have sought to integrate new technologies into dealerships while others have separated brands from each other to deliver a better, more tailored sales experience. According to a new report from Automotive News, FCA is doing the latter with the Jeep brand and is so far finding success.
Fifty-nine dealerships emphasize the Jeep brand and lifestyle, with 14 being standalone Jeep dealerships as of 2019. The others feature dedicated Jeep showrooms to draw in customers. A new standalone Jeep dealership opened earlier this year in Las Vegas, where the store delivers 100 Jeeps a month. That's double the number of Jeeps the owner's full-line FCA store across the street sold per month last year.
According to the publication, the Vegas dealership features old Jeeps, rock 'n' music, and Jeep merchandise beyond automotive accessories, like apparel. It sounds like a Harley-Davidson dealer, with experts on hand knowing the ins and outs of the products while offering a boutique-style experience for customers. This can help Jeep expand the brand to a range of new customers.
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The Jeep brand's emphasis comes after the automaker has seen a massive increase in sales over the last five years as the economy crawled out of the 2008 Recession, and consumers began favoring crossovers and SUVs. Jeep is looking to expand its appeal further with the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, the latter being a high-end luxury offering. Before those arrive, Jeep dealers will be selling a Wrangler plug-in, expected in US showrooms before the end of the year.
It'll be interesting to see if other automakers follow suit, breaking out popular brands from dealerships with boutique establishments. As automakers vie for new customers, the car-buying experience is changing with it.