Jeep plans to launch a large, luxurious SUV to take on the likes of the Cadillac Escalade, Land Rover Range Rover, Lincoln Navigator and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, according to Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Jeep parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU].
This will be a new SUV positioned above the Wagoneer that Jeep plans to introduce in 2018, and given the price tags of its intended rivals we could see the new Jeep priced upwards of $100,000 in some trims. A likely name is Grand Wagoneer.
“When I see a Range Rover on the street, my blood boils, because we should be able to do a thing like that—and we will,” Marchionne told Bloomberg, adding that work on the vehicle had already started.
Marchionne went on to explain that he didn’t mention the new luxury SUV in FCA’s five-year strategy announcement for Jeep made last year because he didn’t want to show his hand too soon.
Jeep has never really offered a luxury SUV but the brand name is well recognized, perhaps more so than some of its rivals in emerging markets. This provides FCA with an opportunity to introduce a high-end Jeep even though it’s not a category one would expect to see the brand compete in.
SUV sales continue to enjoy strong growth all around the globe, and about half of these sales are made up of luxury models, so understandably there is a number of automakers rushing to capitalize on the demand. Audi, BMW and Maserati plan to enter the large, luxury SUV segment with their respective Q8, X7 and Levante models, and at the upper end of the spectrum there’s Bentley with its Bentayga and Rolls-Royce with its Project Cullinan.