It seems like more and more automakers are pushing their brands upmarket. There’s Mini, Mazda, and now Jeep looking to reposition their brands as a premium option. For Jeep, that means moving the brand from being premium to even more premium.
That’s what Bill Hayes, Stellantis’ India and Asian Pacific region senior VP for sales, marketing, and regional operations, told CarExpert.com. Jeep is already making similar moves in the US by introducing the new Wagoneer, which arrived without a traditional Jeep badge. This was by design as Jeep wanted it and the Grand Wagoneer to occupy a new premium space for the brand.
Gallery: 2022 Jeep Wagoneer Debut
In Australia, that’s meant axing entry-level trims, making the nearly $40,000 AUD Compass ($29,000 USD, at current exchange rates) the entry-level model. Jeep Australia discontinued the Renegade in 2020 there. The company is also improving the dealership experience for customers there, making it more inviting and improving the dealerships’ online presence. Hayes told the publication that the brand has had a “keen focus on customer experience.”
Jeep made a similar push in the US over the last few years, with the brand pushing for standalone Jeep dealerships or dedicated Jeep showrooms. As recently as this month, the brand continued to push for dealers to build standalone showrooms, which draw in customers.
Like the rest of the industry, Jeep is charting a course toward electrification, and this rejiggering is seeing brands push into new premium and luxury spaces. The transition isn’t cheap, and with customers continuing to buy crossovers and SUVs, it makes sense to push those prices and dealership experiences upward. The new Wagoneer will be a hybrid by 2025, and the V8 is no more for the brand’s performance models.
No one knows what the future holds, but the industry is rapidly changing. Jeep is trying to adapt as customers flock to its vehicles, but they might not also be loyal to Jeep. Improving the customer experience is one way to build that relationship.