You love Jeep, but do you ever wish you had a crystal ball to see our future? While we don’t have that, we have the next best thing: CEO Mike Manley and a stable of hungry journalists. Recently Manley sat down to answer questions and give us his plans for the future.
This is something Manley does every year, but his answers this time around seem more confident. Maybe that’s what tripling your sales to 1 million annually will do for you. With plans to reach two million by 2018, confidence is key to Jeep strategy.
Although Jeep will always remain an SUV maker first and foremost, it’s inevitable that new power sources for Jeep vehicles will arrive. While the Wrangler will probably be the last to get a hybrid option, if ever, Jeep is likely exploring this technology with other models. No plans have been announced yet.
2. Wrangler pickup
Manley has expressed his desire to see a pickup version of the American icon, and with sales riding high, it’s likely that the possibility is being explored. The Wrangler’s next scheduled generational update is set for 2018. That leaves three years to figure out if there’s a place for a Wrangler pickup in America. Texas, maybe?
3. Compass & Patriot updates in 2017
Although not quite as rough-and-tumble as the Wrangler or Cherokee, there are an awful lot of Compasses and Patriots parked in the driveways of America. The way people are drawn to the Patriot during the 4th of July weekend is like voodoo. And since we’re taught that compasses are our best way to survive the wild, the Compass has a built-in advantage.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see these two get the hybrid treatment first. As some of Jeep’s newest models, people might be more open to experimentation.
4. Grand Wagoneer
The market has spoken and Jeep is hurrying a seven-seat SUV to the public as fast as robotically possible. This name has a lot of history. Wagoneers have been hauling us to the mountains and back since the 1960s. We haven’t seen a new one since 1993, so we think this revival will be a big hit when it arrives in 2018.
5. Renegade manual transmission, entrance to sub-compact market
Not a lot of subcompacts have manual transmissions, so Jeep was surprised as anyone to see the preorders for manual Renegades. It seems that when people want their Jeeps small, they especially want to do the shifting themselves.
Interest in the Renegade, which arrives this spring, is high. Jeep doesn’t have anything else in this segment, so we’re looking forward to seeing all sorts of new faces in our showroom.
If you’re looking for a Jeep dealer in Cary, come by any time.