Jeep in October gave its dealers a glimpse of a new Grand Wagoneer but word on the street is that the vehicle is on hold.
Autoline Daily in November went as far as to report that the project has been canceled.
Automotive News (subscription required) says that’s not the case, reporting on Tuesday that the Grand Wagoneer isn’t dead but simply put on hold. The publication cited two supplier sources.
The Grand Wagoneer was originally promised to arrive in 2018 riding on an updated version of the Grand Cherokee’s platform. However, using this platform may prove difficult in ensuring the Grand Wagoneer has a decent-sized third row.
As Automotive News posits, the Jefferson North Assembly Plant where the Grand Cherokee is built is currently limited to vehicles no bigger than the Grand Cherokee-based Durango. Upgrading the plant to build an even bigger vehicle, i.e. a full-size model, will require costly tooling upgrades.
Apparently going with a Durango-sized vehicle may end up causing the new Grand Wagoneer to suffer the same fate as the cramped Commander. Remember, this is a vehicle Jeep wants to charge upwards of $140K for.
An alternative option would be using the body-on-frame platform of the redesigned Ram pickup truck currently in development. In fact, Jeep CEO Mike Manley in July hinted that the redesigned Ram pickup, due in early 2018, could spawn an SUV.
This option would be less costly for Jeep as the Warren Truck plant where the Ram is built is already set up for full-size vehicles. And Cadillac’s Escalade has shown that a body-on-frame luxury SUV can be quite successful on the market. Lincoln is also sticking with a body-on-frame platform for its redesigned Navigator.
Stay tuned for an update.