In late May, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] let slip that the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee may be delayed beyond the 2017 launch promised in the automaker’s five-year strategy announcement made a year ago. Now, Jeep CEO Mike Manley has revealed that the delay may see the redesigned Grand Cherokee introduced as late as 2019.
Speaking with Reuters, Manley said the redesigned SUV could be introduced in 2018 or 2019. However, before its arrival, the current version, on sale since 2010, would be updated, he said. This would be the current Grand Cherokee’s second update, with the first taking place in 2013.
It’s thought that the reason for the delay is so the redesigned Grand Cherokee can be jointly developed with a new Grand Wagoneer due out in 2018. Both vehicles are expected to ride on an updated version of the current Grand Cherokee’s platform.
The good news is that Jeep’s other new models remain on track, with a new compact SUV replacing the Patriot and Compass coming next year, and a redesigned Wrangler coming in 2017. According to Manley, Jeep is also on pace to reach its goal of 1.9 million worldwide sales by 2018. Last year the brand sold 1.02 million vehicles, and sales this year are up 20 percent.
Crucial to reaching the ambitious sales target is increased production in other regions. Jeep has just started Renegade production in Brazil, and later this year it will start Cherokee production in China. Jeep has also confirmed plans to start production of an unnamed model in India in 2017.