By on January 21, 2014

2014_Jeep_Cherokee_North_4x2_Edition_Canada_Front

 

With the first month of 2014 sales nearly wrapped up, we’ll soon get our first look at how the Jeep Cherokee has fared, following the initial shipment of delayed units. Much has been made of the Cherokee selling 10,000 units in November and 15,000 units in December: it was a great storyline for Chrysler to promote in the run-up to NAIAS, and one for the hometown media (in both Detroit and Toledo) to rally around. Left out of the cheerleading was the fact that these figures accounted for the 25,000 units reportedly sent to dealers in one fell swoop. Can you say “pent up demand”?

But even if the Cherokee continued to sell at that pace – say, 15,000 units per month as an optimistic projection, where would that place it in the larger picture of the small crossover segment?

crossovergraph2

Small crossovers may not be popular with enthusiasts, but it’s impossible to deny how important this is to the industry at large. In 2013, five of the top 10 best selling SUVs in America were small crossovers, while the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape (the top selling small crossovers) were the 8th and 10th best selling vehicles in America. Together, those two made up just under 1/3rd of the segment’s volume. Add in the third place Chevolet Equinox and fourth place Toyota RAV4 and you have 57 percent of the segment represented in just four nameplates.

The graph above represents the uneven distribution of the segment’s sales, with the top four nameplates sitting comfortable, while a number of small players compete for scraps at the bottom of the graph. This isn’t unique in the market either – Juan Barnett’s analysis of the midsize market shows a somewhat similar distribution of nameplates clustered at the top and bottom. Like the midsize segment, the small crossover category is a crowded one, and the addition of the Cherokee just adds to the competition.

Assuming the 15,000 unit pace holds through 2014, that would give the Cherokee 180,000 units at year end, placing it above the Nissan Rogue (which sells roughly 160,000 units) but below the RAV4. In that context, the 15,000 unit per month figure being bandied about is far less impressive, but it’s important to note a couple things.

The Toldeo, Ohio factory that builds the Cherokee is capacity limited to about 250,000 Cherokees per year. Even running flat out, Jeep wouldn’t be able to catch the CR-V or Escape. Considering that some of the 250,000 units will go to Canada and other global markets, 180,000 is a respectable number. Even more significant is what the Cherokee will do for the Jeep brand compared to the Liberty (as demonstrated in the chart below).

 

cherokeelibertygraph

 

The comparison with the Rogue will be an interesting one. In the same way that the 200 should sell at the level of the Optima, Malibu or Sonata, the Cherokee and Rogue will likely inhabit the same stratosphere in the segment. The new Rogue has also undergone Nissan’s patented process of making cars suitably bland for American tastes, through their expanded dealer network. Similar to the Altima’s gradual climb through the midsize ranks, the combined capacity for 180,000 units of the Rogue (100,000 in Smyrna, Tennessee and 80,000 at the Renault-Nissan facility in Korea), combined with additional units of the Rogue Select (which Nissan will likely not break out from Rogue sales) should enable to Rogue to post higher sales figures by the end of 2014. On the other hand, don’t expect things to change at the top.

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97 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: Here’s What The Jeep Cherokee Is Up Against In 2014...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    As long as the Cherokee avoids future disasters like the start-up issues I’m sure it will do well. It’s one of the few in it’s segment that offers a V6. It also has a superior AWD/4×4 system, best in segment

    • 0 avatar

      And the best infotainment.

      And the best looks.

      And the best powertrain.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Allow me to channel my inner D. Kreindler: the Cherokee’s 24.8 cu ft cargo space (with seats up) will cost it dearly in sales compared to the CRV’s 37, Rogue’s 34, and the up and coming Forester’s 34. I hear the Forester has one of the industry’s shortest days-on-the-lot numbers. The Escape has 29cu ft and still does very well, and I think many people like the classy looks and quiet/composed ride and are willing to sacrifice some space. But 24.8 Cu Ft is just too little. That’s very close my family’s 2007 Fit and actually less than our old 1990 Civic Wagon (27 cu ft), both MUCH smaller cars than this Cherokee.

      I do root for the Cherokee’s success strictly in terms of putting more people to work at factories, but I can’t say I care for it as a car I’d want to drive myself. I can see the Cherokee also underperforming in real world mileage ala Equinox/Terrain, another EPA-test queen that weighs 4000lbs.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “Inner Kreindler” sounds like a series.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The Escape has 34.3 cu ft. My C-Max has basically the same cargo space as the Cherokee and it has a bunch of batteries back there.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Right you are, I accidentally was looking at the 2012 Escape numbers, the old boxy one. I think this just drives the point home then, all of the Cherokee’s competitor’s have 33+, 25 cu ft is significantly smaller.

      • 0 avatar

        You are dead on about the cargo, which is something I noted in my review. I had the pleasure of driving a CR-V and Santa Fe in my college years and whatever dynamic flaws they had, they were great haulers.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        It’s only a matter of time before they shoot themselves in the foot (tires)

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        The Jeep does have more rear legroom than most of the other CUVs. It seems like it traded cargo area for additional legroom. The problem is that all the other CUVs seem to have quite a lot of rear legroom anyway. Unless the Cherokee has sliding rear seats to open up more space in the back, that extra legroom seems useless unless you have 4 people that are all 6’6″ riding in it regularly.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        +1 for the crap mileage of the Equinox/Terrain.

        Unsurprisingly, the V6 in each model posts better than real world EPA figures on various Equinox/Terrain forums, although to be fair 24 MPG with the 3.6 and 6 speed is a conservative figure.

        I have yet to get more than 27 MPG, try as I might. Living in the southern Green Bay area, thankfully much of my day to day travel can be achieved on highways in the 45-55 MPH range, where the engine is working less hard, and even making it a point to take all of these lower speed routes, cruise faithfully enabled, and the Eco button permanently on, my typical real-world economy is 24-25 MPG, comprised of 70-80% highway.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Yup. I have a Forester and would seriously consider the Cherokee as a replacement because it has the segment-unique combination of a V6 and a top-notch AWD system. But the poor cargo capacity is probably a deal-breaker. If I could live with that little capacity, I’d skip the crossover segment altogether and get a smaller, nimbler car.

      • 0 avatar
        HerrKaLeun

        This vehicle compares to a Hyundai Tucson if you consider Cargo. And how many families buy a car like that and don’t need cargo? In no way this is in the CRV, RAV4, CX5, Santa Fe League.

        If I didn’ the need a trunk, I’d buy a Smart, 500, Mini or Porsche…. People who buy CRV are Minivan people who want something cooler looking but still with utility. This cargo volume is not.

        And no one in the target audience cares about AWD and if it is better off road. Real off readers (all 3 of them that buy new cars) wouldn’t want to be seen in an CUV with fish mouth or whatever that is.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      >>It also has a superior AWD/4×4 system, best in segment<<

      But does the market care? Rock crawlers buy real jeeps – they know this is a Dart underneath.

      99% of this market want family utility and performance in ice and snow. The best awd cuvs in the later – according to tests – historically have been other brands. And we know the Jeep's family utility isn't the best either.

      That doesn't mean it shouldn't do well. Many buy the Jeep image, as they do BMW or Land Rover, w/o ever intending to test the boundaries of “superior” design.

  • avatar
    mike978

    If they are capacity limited to around 180000 for the US market, then there is the potential for them to not have to lavish incentives to shift the product. It could be quite profitable for them, while at the same time provide a meaningful volume bump from the Liberty.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    I guess you’re correct, but I never really think of the Rogue unless I see one. Then it’s a CVT equipped,small, cheap Murano for the beige crowd on a budget. Most are beige. If I had a spotless mind and the Compass didn’t exist, the Cherokee is already perceived as tougher than a Rogue by just being a Jeep, but not by being a smaller Grand Cherokee.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “…but I never really think of the Rogue unless I see one.”

      The Rogue has its advantages. For instance, it can jump on top of a train. Useful for a great many situations. So hopefully, when you’re in traffic, and a train track is nearby, you’ll think of the Rogue and how it could extricate you from the situation.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim_Turbo

        I hate that commercial. It’s almost as bad as the Camry being “grounded to the ground” and “having stuff guys like, like rims and sleekness of the body”.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      Don’t forget the Rogue can ram a cop car multiple times and keep on truckin’.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      @cargogh

      That same CVT idealogy is what’s preventing me from one day owning an Infiniti JX35.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I’m curious – have you driven various types of CVTs? It took me all of an hour to get used to mine and now it’s a non-issue. I have paddle shifters if I wanted to feign ‘shifting’ but that novelty wore off after the 2nd useage….

        I drove a friend’s ’14 Accord and that CVT is pretty dynamic….

  • avatar
    fredtal

    It’s difficult for me to read the first chart. The CRV, Forrester, RAV4, Equinox and CX5 have the same color lines. Maybe you could have the labels point to the actual line?

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      A good practice for charts is to vary the line style (e.g., solid, dashed) to help distinguish data.

      Also, the latest excel defaults create terrible looking charts as they are soft, fuzzy, and low-contrast.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    im sorry but those figures are absolutely terrible. esp the first one. i cannot tell which lines belong to which models, it is way too busy. whoever made that figure needs to go back to school.

    the second one is better but only because it has 4 lines. the colors should be more distinguishable.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    x3 on that chart. The colors are far too close in color to tell them apart; please re-post, perhaps with arrows superimposed on top to point the legend to the lines.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      X4 – but I think the easiest thing to do would be to order the list as they appear at the end point for 2013 on the chart. It looks like that’s how it started with CRV and Escape, then sort of gets jumbled up.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    “Pent up demand” for a product that never existed before? TTAC continues to have a credibility stake in dissing Chrysler and other American manufacturers.

    Having “Want To Save Gas? Don’t Buy American – Announcing The True Heroes And True Villains At The Pump” in the toolbar implying that American manufacturers are villains when they really just depend on trucks and SUV’s more which actually beat their comparable JapanInc truck and SUIV competitors in gas mileage certainly hurts TTAC’s credibility.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      I would agree that there was some pent up demand, and while this platform is new to Jeep, the Cherokee name is not. I’m sure that many of the first buyers were Jeep enthusiats familiar with the original Cherokee.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Does the Cherokee need to beat the Rav4 or for that matter the CRV and Escape? If they sell 150000 I’m sure it will be profitable and that’s more important.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      I agree. 150000+ units seems like plenty to be happy about for Chrysler. I hope they do it.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      Agreed.

      There is no way the Cherokee will come anywhere close to the CR-V in terms of volume, but profitably selling a reasonable volume without relying on huge incentives to move them would be a big win, and would help to slowly build some credibility for Jeep in this space.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      Agreed.

      Also, Derek seems to assume that all Cherokee sales will be incremental to the category. If the Cherokee maintains its present pace, sales will be around 10,000 units/month above the Liberty. If those sales simply replace sales by competitive CUVs, the real question may be which brands will lose from this?

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    This is a perfect example of the Pareto principle.

  • avatar

    I think the bottom chart is more important, how well it does against the old liberty. Yes it would be nice to play in the big leagues but a this point any model running much over 100k units a year is a big win for fiat-chrysler.

  • avatar
    mjz

    I know that Chrysler withheld the Cherokee until the software programming glitches could be ironed out, but maybe this is inadvertently a good strategy to follow (not the software glitches). Delay the sale to the public until there is a sufficient number of units in stock at the dealerships when the ad campaign kicks in at full force. Usually, the automakers go gangbusters with the advertising when the production has just kicked off, and the dealerships have few models in stock to actually sell when people come in to inspect the new models. I know that when the dealership near me finally received their allocation of Cherokees, they must have gotten at least 35 units in, in a variety of trims and colors, so it was easy for a customer to find one they might like right away, without having to wait for more production. Maybe this is the way to go in the future.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The new Jeep Cherokee will be the America’s best-selling Fiat-based Crossover Vehicle that has the face of a catfish. http://www.asergeev.com/pictures/archives/compress/2005/437/jpeg/26m.jpg

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Compared to the Liberty that it replaces, this is already a home run.

    Sharing a platform with volume passenger cars helps with recovering the costs, which is an improvement for the bottom line.

    On the whole, this is a significant step up from before. Borrowing from the Grand Cherokee’s styling cues was the right approach.

  • avatar
    imag

    Good to see the CX-5 breaking free of the bottom feeders. And that number has been production limited for the most part.

  • avatar

    I downloaded crossovergraph1.jpg and picked the color values.

    CR-V ….. 105 104 138
    Forester . 104 102 149
    Equinox . 101 104 149
    RAV4 ….. 100 105 149

    Honestly they are next to identical.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    And now we know another color in which the Cherokee doesn’t work. Works about as well as that GOLD Journey back there.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I’ve been seeing more and more of these around my neighborhood. For a couple of (soon to be) empty nesters, this is a great little ride. Although, with my inclination for long bike rides and my wife’ DIY streak, I think there’s enough room in there to satisfy those needs. I will have to check one out at the car show next month…

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Which line is for the Tiguan and which is for the Compass?

    Graphs that depend upon tiny differences in colors/shades drive me nuts.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Seems to me this vehicle is going to be a win for Chrysler if it gives them MORE market share with a vehicle they don’t have to give away. It doesn’t necessarily NEED to be the top seller. Not sure why the tone here was so negative…

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Because this is The Best and The Brightest. They’re not happy unless their slamming a car.

      And, how dare they give the name Cherokee to something that doesn’t lend itself to 35″ wheels and 8″ lift kits.

      Finally, the only Cherokee they buy would be a first generation one. Because you can’t buy them used. This model, for awhile, has to be bought new, with all that wicked depreciation. Let it get 3-5 years old and opinions will suddenly become much kinder, because you’ll be able to buy one much cheaper used.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Not sure many TTACers would be willing to buy one used… what will that 9 speed be like 5 years and 60k miles down the road? How will the U-connect fare?

        Those old XJs had an anvil of an Aisin automatic transmission: dead nuts reliable. Not to mention the hallowed 4.0L OHV I6. Leaf spring rear end, solid axles all around, simple u joints up front. Craigslist is chock full of these things with over 200k miles. Will there be dirt cheap Trailhawks on craigslist with 150k miles in 10 years, ready to rip down fire roads for another 100k? I kind of doubt it.

        I test drove a 5spd 1996 once, oh man it makes you feel alive. Working the heavy shifter and clutch, fighting to stay in your lane as the worn steering rack lets the truck wander all over at anything over 40 mph. Makes my 4runner feel like a soccer mom’s highlander.

        The trailhawk may be capable at a fancy show and tell for journalists, I can’t imagine what its suspension and underbody would look like if it were to actually be used like that with any regularity. It is merely an exercise in oneupmanship “hey see those orange tow hooks, yeah mine’s a trailhawk with the locking diff.”

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Having been a used 1992 Jeep Wrangler owner for a brief time a few years ago, and a 1968 Jeep Commando C-101 owner in the mid-70s, I’m very suspicious of owning a Jeep again.

    Of course, they were old when I bought them, but my suspicions about what “Jeep” stands for – “Just Empty Every Pocket” – would raise its ugly head if I bought one again, new or used!

    For Chrysler’s sake, I hope I’m wrong!

    Although not a real fan of SUV/CUVs, certain ones do prove their mettle with superior reliability and most with their utility. Our old 2002 CR-V has proven its worth a hundred-fold.

  • avatar
    RS

    If sales in this segment doesn’t expand who loses volume if the Cherokee does realize increased sales?

  • avatar

    Revised graph added. Is this better?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I will say they this.

    MUCH MUCH MUCH better looking in person. Neighbor just bought one, paid around $28K so not poverty spec but not loaded out by any means. It is in black, which favors the skin.

    This vehicle photographs horribly – if you haven’t seen one in real life reserve judgment.

    I would put the Chevy Impala and new Corolla in the same camp. Both much better looking in person (at least in LT/LTZ trim and S trim respectively)

  • avatar
    Tarditi

    I have seen it in person – better than the photos, but still not convinced. If it were a different marque it may be OK, but it’s a Jeep. This thing needs a brushguard to hide the ugly and the shame that is the front end. They should have done a case study on the Subaru Tribeca – great vehicle, the ugly shone through though, eventually killing sales. Compass is an OK car (too many corners cut, IMHO) that pretends to be a jeep – Patriot is a decent CUV (not living quite up to its potential)… The new Cherokee will be polarizing and keep it out of the beloved Jeep community – much of the strength in the brand.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      For what it’s worth, the Tribeca is also shockingly tight inside for its price and exterior bulk. I mean, I know it’s supposed to be a 7-seater, but that middle row is still a little snug slid as far back as possible (which renders the 3rd row useless). That can’t have helped it, nor could the Outback’s growth spurt.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    Jeezus! Is that actually a real vehicle that they plan to sell? I thought it was some kind of wacko concept car.

    Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but ugly like that is just in your face.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I think they look great in person. I too was on the fence from the pictures.

    So good for Chrysler, 150K a year or so should be a nice earner. Having had the latest RAV4 for a rental a couple times, all I can say is it is the Camry of small CUVs. BLECH. The previous one I loved too! Even talked my roommate into buying a 2010.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Every new instrument panel Toyota releases is uglier than the last. I can’t see how they can keep doing it!

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I test drove a ’13 Rav4 Limited last week. Considering my mom has a ’10 V6 Limited and my SIL has an ’11 I4 Base, I have a decent amount of experience with that generation Rav. My wife and I both really liked the new Rav. The ride was nice, great interior space, it swallowed up the convertible rear facing car seat leaving ample leg room in front. The instrument panel was much nicer to the touch, especially compared to the previous Rav which was really lacking there. The only thing I didn’t like was the screen resolution on the standard touchscreen, but that is apparently resolved with the upgraded JBL radio. The power liftgate was a nice feature, too. We liked it enough that I believe we’re going to replace our 4Runner and Prius v with it to open up garage space for an MX-5/FR-S/BRZ/e36 M3/etc for me without my wife having to give up her beloved MINI.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Quentin – did you try a CX5? Comparable cargo space but with the 40:20:40 seats you can carry long things AND four people, unlike RAV4 and CRV.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          My 4Runner has a similar feature but I can count on one hand when I’ve used it. I’ll miss the roll down tailgate glass more than the seat configuration. Plus, it is just the wife, the baby, and myself with no plans for more kids. The “diff lock” is a nice feature that a lot of the CUVs don’t come with. It has been very useful in my family’s Ravs. I like the new Mazdas (the 6 in particular is fantastic). I’m not sure I’m ready to jump ship from Toyota yet when we’ve been so pleased with the ones we have. According the true delta, the ravs have been very reliable right out of the gate. Always a good sign.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    Back to cargo capacity for a second. Cherokee’s front seat folds forward, I think. Do the others as well? That feature opens up considerable space to carrying awkward, bulky objects–as from Big Box home improvement stores and large musical instruments.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      Hardly what the target audience needs.. trunk space for stroller and all the other kid and/or activity stuff is important. Lonely musicians hardly are the new CUV buyers.

      I recently cross-shopped Cx5, RAV4 and ended up with a CRV.Also looked at Tucson which has cargo volume like this Jeep. Totally crossed it off my list for that reason as I can’t imagine giving up 30% Cargo. If you compare Santa Fe with similar Cargo, Honda actually is cheaper than Hyundai. Go figure..

  • avatar
    George B

    Who is the target market for CUVs? I always think women with a dog or maybe one child. Tall ride height and room to carry larger objects. The styling seems too polarizing for its market segment.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Target market for CUVs? Roughly…

      7/8 passenger CUV’s (Explorer, Acadia, etc)= former full size BOF SUV owners + former minivan owners

      5 passenger CUV’s (the segment that Derek has here)= former smaller BOF SUV owners (Trailblazer etc) + former full size car buyers + a few minivan people + a few mid size car people.

      As sales dropped in BOF SUV’s, mid size BOF SUV’s, minivans, and full size cars sales of CUV’s have skyrocketed.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Soccer moms who can’t be seen in a minivan and old folks with creaky knees who can’t bend down to enter a car.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    Autoblog podcast just gave the Cherokee a fantastic review saying the driving experience is excellent and a very high quality vehicle overall. A solid product with great driving characteristics.

    If you want kind of a minivan, Dodge makes a real minivan that is quite price competitive with a CRV or RAV4.

    Chrysler will get a longer version of a this vehicle to replace the Journey for you appliance fans.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Really? I can’t imagine it would be too much longer. The CUSW platform isn’t all that stretchable. The biggest the prospective Chrysler SUV could be is probably the size of the Murano/Edge/Venza…

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        If they can make the present Journey out of the Mits Lancer platform, I bet they can make a Journey replacement out of a Dart especially since this proposed vehicle is on Marchionne’s 5 year roadmap which has been accurate for Chrysler, not so much for Alfa Romeo, yet. The Cherokee and the Dart share a 106″ wheelbase while the new 200 has a 108″ wheelbase and is 10″ longer overall length, so there’s room for growth.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    For as maligned a vehicle as the Cherokee was, I see a ton of them on the road already. I personally don’t think they look that bad at all, especially in the darker colors.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Saw it at the Houston car show last night, it’s pretty nice and about the right size for me and I’m not a lover of SUVs. In all black the front end details are kind of lost. People were checking it out so it might sell well.


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