Jeep to Abandon the Wagoneer Sub-Brand

In 2022, the launch of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer brought back to the market an iconic name that disappeared nearly three decades ago. Back in those days, a car with fancy faux wood panels was a status symbol for those who wanted a large SUV with premium features. Therefore, it is logical that in our time, Jeep positioned the Wagoneer as a premium model, with a starting price of sixty thousand dollars, which in the maximum configuration exceeded one hundred. In addition, the company decided to make Wagoneer a sub-brand, separating it from the rest of the lineup. This decision confused everyone, and two years later, Jeep had to change its mind, bringing the Wagoneer back into the fold.

Times change

This all comes at a time of big change for Jeep, with rearrangements to its lineup and team. In November, Antonio Filosa was named Jeep CEO, and a month later, former Maserati chief Bill Peffer took over as head of Jeep North America. The new manager began his work at the company by reducing prices on popular models such as Compass and Grand Cherokee.

The Compass now starts at $27,495, $2,500 less than the original MSRP. The special edition models – Altitude, (RED) Edition, and High Altitude – are gone.

As for the Grand Cherokee, the Laredo model had its MSRP reduced by $1,500, while the more popular Limited trim received a price cut of $2,325. This is good news for those thinking about buying a new Jeep but a bad one for used SUV owners – their cars will also fall in value. Therefore, experts from the Indy Auto Man used car dealership recommend not to put off selling a used Jeep for too long.

The new management also made loyalty to tradition a priority, which involved rethinking the role of the Wagoneer. At the same time, launching Wagoneer as a sub-brand made obvious sense. This model is a large, luxurious SUV, not a Wrangler. The premium options and size made it special, so ditching the Jeep badge seemed like a good strategy. However, this confused buyers. So, is it a Jeep or not? Is the Grand Wagoneer a separate model or a more expensive trim level of the Wagoneer? How to promote this thing on the market? Wagoneer didn’t even have a separate website. Instead, it was featured on Jeep’s main website like other models.

It is better to simplify perception than to create confusion

At the 58th annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, new Jeep CEO Bill Peffer explained why they abandoned the sub-brand. He said they decided to simplify the lineup and bring the Jeep badge back to the Wagoneer as part of the lineup. Moreover, the new sub-brand confused not only consumers but dealers as well.

A clear message

Jeep’s goal is to keep its lineup straightforward. For example, the Wrangler and Gladiator were marketed as different cars, even though, from some angles, they look indistinguishable. In the Wagoneer situation, the management strived to collect all the negativity and make the necessary adjustments. The vehicle to kick off the rebranding will be the all-new, all-electric Wagoneer S, which will debut in July. A. Filosa noted that the Wagoneer S will see the light of the day as a 2024 model with a quick replacement for a 2025 model.

The new electric Recon is joining the lineup in the third quarter. It is a five-seat, four-door D-segment SUV that will offer classic, boxy Jeep styling for true brand fans. It will initially be an all-electric model, but there is hope for an ICE model as the STLA Large architecture on which it and the Wagoneer S are based will be a multi-energy platform with electric, hybrid, and ICE variants.

Antonio Filosa confirmed that five new products will be released after Recon, but he did not specify what kind of cars they would be.

What is your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

Comments are closed.

More in:Automotive