No brand is benefiting more from the ongoing consumer shift from cars to SUVs than Jeep.
From selling 730,000 units in 2013, Jeep is on track to hit 1.9 million sales in 2018 thanks to expansion into new markets and strong demand worldwide but particularly in China.
Rather than calling it a day, Jeep will accelerate its efforts. The brand's parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles during an investor presentation on Friday confirmed plans for four new nameplates for Jeep, plus expansion of the Deserthawk and Trackhawk models, and adoption of electrification and self-driving technologies.
The four nameplates are to be introduced by 2022. They will include the Wrangler-based mid-size pickup and Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer already confirmed and due in 2019 and 2020 calendar years, respectably. The other two were confirmed Friday to be a pint-sized offering to sit below the compact Renegade, and a mid-size offering with third-row seats that will sit alongside a new Grand Cherokee.
2017 Jeep Renegade Deserthawk
Jeep is also looking to expand the offerings of each individual nameplate. It means that multiple Jeep nameplates will have Trailhawk, Trackhawk and Deserthawk offerings in the future. While most Jeep nameplates have a Trailhawk offering at present, only the Grand Cherokee comes as a Trackhawk and only the Renegade as a Deserthawk.
In the area of electrification, Jeep plans to jump in with both feet. Over the coming years, Jeep plans to introduce 10 plug-in hybrids across its range and four electric cars.
There will be self-driving technology, too, which Jeep's parent FCA might end up licensing from Waymo. Jeep boss Mike Manley revealed Friday that Jeeps with Level 3 self-driving capability, where a vehicle can handle its own in limited situations and requires a driver to be ready to take over at a moment's notice, will be offered by 2021. He said this was to “bring independence and stress-free utility,” as well as make Jeeps more urban-friendly.
Finally, Manley also revealed Friday that Jeep will dabble in the world of car sharing and subscriptions. Without going into detail, he said Jeep will launch subscription and mobility services in North America to allow Jeep fans full access to its models and possibly some from other FCA brands. He also said Jeep will begin offering use-based insurance, important for off-roading, and fleet management for the first time.