By on October 6, 2016

2014-Jeep-Cherokee-009

The Jeep brand can seemingly do no wrong, at least on its balance sheet, but are consumers ready to shell out six figures for a top-flight SUV with a seven-slot grille?

That’s the price range Jeep plans to probe with its upcoming Grand Wagoneer, the uppermost of two luxury vehicles designed to slot above the Grand Cherokee, Auto Express reports.

Speaking at the Paris Motor Show, Jeep brand head Mike Manley claimed that the Grand Wagoneer concept was “moving forward,” and will compete — ideally — with the likes of Range Rover, Porsche and BMW.

“I don’t think there’s a maximum price ceiling per se for Jeep,” Manley told Auto Express. “If you look at the upper end of the segment in the US, for me, the Grand Wagoneer done well can compete all the way through this segment.”

While he feels that there might not be an upper limit to price, Manley admits that, well, there might be an upper limit. The model needs to establish itself first, he said.

“I’ll use US dollars, but pushing the car up to $130,000 to $140,000 may be possible,” said Manley.

If Jeep can pull off the necessary build quality and luxury trappings, it could prove a very lucrative move. As Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ top breadmaker, the automaker has made clear its plans to tap every market, be it geographic or socioeconomic.

Not much is known about Jeep’s future luxury vehicles, expected to bow as 2019 models, except that they’ll ride atop a version of the next-generation Grand Cherokee platform. In fact, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne isn’t even sure where they will be built. Regardless, the models are coming, and could borrow components — including engines — from other brands under the FCA umbrella, Maserati among them.

The priciest model currently in the Jeep stable is the 2017 Grand Cherokee SRT, which carries an MSRP of $66,795.

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82 Comments on “Is the World Ready for a $140,000 Jeep?...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I think the answer depends on inflation projections. In 2015 dollars, no.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    That’s insane. Didn’t work for VW….and it won’t work for Jeep.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I can’t believe you’re suggesting the Phaeton wasn’t a massive success! Jack Baruth had TWO. That made the whole exercise worthwhile.

    • 0 avatar
      thattruthguy

      At $100K gross profit, how many does FCA need to sell to make back $100M?

      FCA will be fine.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      But it did work for Land Rover. They had humble beginnings, they’ve turned into a formidable maker of high-end SUVs.

      With the right product. I could see a Jeep approaching $100k. Image sells. Luxury trucks and SUVs sell. Jeep has image, makes sense to use it as much as possible. Why can’t Jeep have an Escalade?

      I still think Jeep should build a version of the next-gen Ram trucks. They’ve built pickups before and it seems to work well for GM to have two full size truck nameplates. At the very least, give Jeep owners/fans something to buy should they need or want a pickup in addition to or to replace their Jeep SUV, instead of switching brands.

      Maybe also make a pickup version off the next Grand Cherokee platform, and Ram could then rebadge it. I realize it is probably unibody like the current model but the Grand Cherokee proves it can be done with positive truck-qualities left in place (towing, off-roading). It will at least challenge the more car-like Honda Ridgeline. That’s if FCA doesn’t F it up by putting it on the damn Pacifica platform. If they do, they will ruin their own niche.

      As to Jeep products, why not have as many entries as you can in hot segments? As long as they keep the image of each brand in tact, the trucks could sell with a higher profit margin as a Jeep than they do as a Ram.

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        It didn’t happen overnight for Land Rover. It was over the course of many, many years that they were able to transform into a luxury SUV brand. Also don’t discount the fact that their entire vehicle line moved far more upscale (in price) than what you see at a Jeep dealer. There’s nothing on a Land Rover lot that can compete with Jeep when it comes to low prices.

        If Jeep wants to move from an average vehicle selling price of, say, $32K (just a wild guess on my part of the average selling price of their entire model line-up) to luring high-end buyers with a $130K halo vehicle, I think they’ll have to spend millions in marketing money and then hope for the best. I just don’t see it happening.

        • 0 avatar
          zipper69

          With the initial Land Rover (cribbed largely from a military Jeep) in 1948 it took until 1970 for the Ranger Rover to materialize.
          Even then it was squarely aimed at LR owners with rubber mats that could be hosed off to take Farmer Giles and his missus to the local Dinner Dance.
          The evolution of the RR into the plethora of models on offer today saddens this ex-owner who remembers the 2-4-8 standards: 2 doors, 4 speeds, 8 cylinders !!

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Land Rover did make it work, and did so with vehicles that frankly would have been panned if they were mass market vehicles. Yes the trappings were there, but the fit, finish, and reliability were not. Yet, they still are highly desirable in upper crust neighborhoods. The reason for that is if you show up with a new Range Rover every three years, it tells the neighbors that yep, you can afford to waste significant dollars on massive depreciation. Jeep? Well, lets turn the clock back to the late 70s/80s. Those upper crust neighborhoods, at least here in the northeast, were home to many a Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer/Cherokee. They were the standard four wheel drive to supplement the Mercedes or Jaguar when there was a threat that the Lloyd Harbor causeway might flood or have snow on it. So, can Jeep make a splash in the neighborhood once again? Maybe, if the vehicle is good enough and the price is high enough. The vehicle will have to exude quality and premium features, and look the part. Then, maybe, RR will have some competition….

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      People have no problem dropping 80K on a Jeep GC SRT, and will fight over hellcat powered ones for 100K. The Grand Cherokee Overland Summit isn’t cheap either. If the Grand Wagoneer is good, they’ll sell every single one they build.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think they can get 120k but I can guarantee here in New England 80-90k version would sell like crazy. Jeep GC are everywhere in upper middle class towns up here.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        Define “sell like crazy”. I think they’d move a few units at $80K, but I doubt that RR would be worried.

        • 0 avatar

          I would think they could do close to 10,000 a year over 80k list. That would put a dent in Rover I imagine. I may have a twisted view but almost every upper middle class family I know here in CT already has at least one GC summit or Overland in the Garage, I would have to imagine moving up from 55k wouldn’t be hard.

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      Year
      Jeep Grand Cherokee
      ——————-
      U.S. Sales
      Canadian Sales

      2011
      127,744
      10,283

      2012
      154,734
      10,416

      2013
      174,275
      11,587

      2014
      183,786
      13,150

      2015
      195,958
      11,605

      2016 YTD *
      135,259
      10,950

      From 2012-2016 Jeep sold 38,862 Grand Cherokee SRT models alone.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Is the World Ready for a $140,000 Jeep?”

    BAHAHAHAHHA

    “If Jeep can pull off the necessary build quality and luxury trappings…”

    LAWLWLWALALWL

    Chrysler 200 switchgear and 9-speed, guaranteed.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    “The priciest model currently in the Jeep stable is the 2017 Grand Cherokee SRT, which carries an MSRP of $66,795.”

    No it’s not.

    The SRT Night which is $70,765 is the most expensive to which you can add $6,300 in options…..

    • 0 avatar

      From what I’ve read, the new flagship will be split into two versions: Wagoneer, probably starting around $80k and then the Grand Wagoneer version, probably starting around $100k.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Yeah, this will be a wonderful failure. Think LaForza… the Italians do LuxyJeep so well.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    I think it can work if the styling has the right mix of aggression, luxury and more importantly, restraint. It could become FCA’s flagship (no sense making a sedan flagship nowadays), similar to what Land Cruiser is to Toyota or Denali to GM.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    That is ridiculous There are already some great SUVs out there and when you are in that range, prestige is part of the equation.

    BMW X5M, Porsche Cayenne GTS/Turbo, MB G-wagoon, Land Rover, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      qfrog

      Nobody spending “BMW X5M, Porsche Cayenne GTS/Turbo, MB G-wagoon, Land Rover, etc.” money will want to go to a Dodge dealership for sales/service or a Jeep dealership for that matter. The whole experience will be a bit low rent for a $140k vehicle just as the badge too will be a bit out of place particularly if luxury is the name of the game… Jeep is not a prestige brand.

      • 0 avatar
        eggsalad

        This. Precisely.

        Part of the success of the high-end Japanese brands (Acura/Lexus/Infiniti) is the dealership experience. People paying top dollar for a vehicle don’t want to be treated like chattel.

        I didn’t truly understand until I took my 26-year-old, $3000 Acura to an Acura dealership for a $19.99 oil change.

        Even the Service Department waiting room is a luxury experience. Instead of drinking coffee from an urn brewed who knows when, there’s a staffed espresso bar that also serves fresh-baked cookies.

        People who want to spend $100k+ on a vehicle will not be happy to be treated just like the lady who’s trying to make a workable deal on a $20k Renegade.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          You’re forgetting what Sergio did with the Fiat/Alfa dealers: demand separate, upscale showrooms and other amenities. He can mollify some of those dealers for the lack of Alfas by giving them the Grand Wagoneer as an “exclusive”.

          • 0 avatar
            indi500fan

            Or locally, rented mall space big enough for two 500s and eventual moved to a former used car building.

      • 0 avatar

        The go to the Buick GMC Cadillac commercial vehicle center when they buy an Escalade I don’t think that it’s really that big of an issue. Also there is huge cross over in x5 buyers and GC buyers already very common cross shop if my coworkers are any indication.

      • 0 avatar
        zipper69

        Exactly.
        Jeep = practical, tough, blue collar.

        Perhaps If this is touted as “Grand Wagoneer” and in tiny letters “engineered by Jeep” and has stand alone dealers it might attract the hipsters in enough numbers.

        Pricewise, they need to aim at no more than $130k (at current prices) to not scare away too many faint hearts.

        But it’s gonna have to be VERY cool and VERY well finished.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          In the 1970s to ’80s, American Motors was selling plenty of blinged out 4WD Wagoneers to the wealthy as go-anywhere, weekend, end-of-civilization getaway vehicles. No doubt many scions of the era remember them, and would buy one if it were available. They sold for the equivalent of $60,000 +/- in ’74, and could be sold for more with a suitable V8.

        • 0 avatar
          thattruthguy

          Jeep may be considered tough and utilitarian, but it doesn’t have a blue-collar image. It’s a prestigious, costly recreational toy or lifestyle accessory, like Ray-Bans and Harley-Davidson.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Lots of people want to pay more than a G-Wagen for something that says Jeep on the front!

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Right! It’ll be exclusive enough for many people with more money than brains BECAUSE it costs more than a G-Wagen. Why won’t people believe seven slots is better than a three point star? Okay, Hitler’s staff car was pretty snazzy, but that has some negative connotations, you know?

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    Just can’t get past the “row of urinals” look on that front end.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    Assuming it’s going to be ‘trail ready’, then really you change your market and you’re looking at the Lexus-Cruiser, the G-Wagon, and the Range Rover.

    Range Rover and Lexus-Cruiser were both born of very pedestrian stock. They’ve developed a name over time, but they haven’t always been this way. The Jeep’s ‘luxury trappings’ aren’t there yet, but their build quality really is already equal to Rover in a lot of ways.

    The MB has cachet conflated with simply being an MB, but it’s based off a vehicle out of MB’s truck division. WHich really is a whole different animal.

    If Jeep is honestly willing to put down the money on their processes and willing to suffer a few years of low sales goals WITHOUT OVERPRODUCING DAMMIT so they don’t have to throw money on the hood, there’s no reason they can’t compete at this level over time. It’s the place where FCA has the best opportunity because so many of the ‘greats’ in this segment really have pretty humble beginnings.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    First rule of American business, find a good horse and then beat it to death.

  • avatar

    I can imagine the frustration about brands like Porsche, BMW and now Jaguar completely dominating the luxury end of a car segment that was never theirs to begin with. Range Rover of course was, and actually invented it. Now Bentley and Lamborghini are about to enter the hi-end side of the luxury SUV market.

  • avatar
    ajla

    A Levante with a lot of options is about $96K.

    A Quattroporte GTS starts at $145K and that has the engine FROM A FERRARI in it. The one with the Pentastar Supreme is like $105K.

    The GW should probably be more around Yukon Denali prices.

    • 0 avatar

      I think from reading the article and claims on Allpar forums the plan is to run in the 80-90k with a few special editions at 100k. If that does well they will roll our RR style special editions with ridiculous price tags.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Jeez, he’s going to step on Alfa AND Maserati with that move. This will NOT end well.

    • 0 avatar
      thattruthguy

      No one will cross shop Alfas and Maseratis with Jeep. They’re different images. I think US buyers would rather have the fanciest Jeep than an obviously half assed Alfa or Maser. Jeep is a common product, like Levi’s or Coke, but it has a positive image. Alfa and Maserati don’t.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I don’t think anybody remotely interested in laying out 100+ grand will be that excited with the sales/service “experience” at their local Dodge/Jeep location. And their chauffeur is NOT gonna be happy hanging in the service lounge with the subprime city crowd.

  • avatar
    NoID

    There’s certainly precedent for moving up market from a true utility brand or product into luxo-utility. Land Rover and Mercedes have done it quite successfully.

    • 0 avatar
      qfrog

      Where? Not here in the US. With the exception of the Sprinter van and Unimog. When was the last time you saw any of those humble products from Land Rover or Mercedes stateside? The defender? That is a toy for people that want a less reliable more expensive Wrangler with an English accent. The G-wagen? Sure, you can bring a convertible diesel one in under the 25 year rule. They just aren’t on the roads here in humble form. However there are plenty of clapped out XJ’s and Wranglers still rumbling around the country. Oh yes there are. It is easier to ascend when what you’re ascending from isn’t a perpetual and ubiquitous reminder that you’re expanding upwards but still very much chained down to humble vehicles driven by normal folks that aren’t worth at least a million dollars and make several hundred thousand a year.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      LR and Merc made the jump long ago, many fewer competitors at that time (and in the case of Land Rover, really NO competitors). The market is entirely different now.

  • avatar
    jmo

    The B&B need to calm down. He’s talking about a vehicle with a base price with a V-6 in the high 50s low 60s that you can option up with a full leather interior, hellcat or Ferrari derived V-8, heated and cooled seats with massage, $8k stereo, $10k carbon ceramic brakes, etc. up to 140k for the top of the line special edition model.

    For the life of me I can’t understand why highly optioned vehicles drive the B&B to distraction.

    • 0 avatar
      npaladin2000

      That’s still pushing into Maserati territory, forget Alfa Romeo. That’s going to cause a problem for some dealers that own both, and it may harm future values of Alfa and Maserati. I think it’s a mistake to try to put Jeep on that high a pedastal, at least at this point in time.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      Here’s the problem. Most people who are willing and able to spend a considerable amount of money on a Jeep will do something similar to what I did. A new Grand Cherokee Overland comes almost completely loaded and slots in just under the Summit model. My Overland had a sticker of just about $50k. However, I paid $44k for mine because it’s easy to negotiate a good chunk of change off a new GC. And the point here is that it’s the Overland model by far that is the most popular with the “gotta have all the bells and whistles” buyers. The Limited and Laredo buyers are looking more for value.

      Anyway, for $44k, I got myself a vehicle that nearly rivals a Land Rover, feature for feature and also has a similar off-road pedigree (or at least a similar ability) and probably better reliability too. Then again, that’s not saying much considering how poorly Land Rover ranks on that front. Still though, my Jeep was $44k…. and I probably wouldn’t have been willing to pay much more than that for, despite the fact that it’s a really nice vehicle. So the stretch to $130k of $140k is just ridiculous and will surely be a major fail, even if those vehicles start in the $80s or $90s. It’s simply out of Jeep’s demographics, not to mention their marketing strategy.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Or will it? Your typical Chevy store sells mostly modestly priced vehicles, yet you can drop 120K on a Corvette Zo6. The dealer service does need improvement for that price range, especially for buyers that are used to premium service at their often-visited Land Rover service bay. Jeep would have to offer similar service for the GW buyers.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    It’s the old halo vehicle trick. Jeep will build just enough for one or two vehicles per dealership and put them out in the prime showroom spot just to draw in traffic for their volume vehicles. And in the off chance that a few wealthy schlubs with more money then sense buy them, hey.

    Remember, the Viper stuck around for a long time.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      Where are you getting your numbers? A new Z06 is an $80K car, not $120K. And even if you could option one up to $120K, the Jeep in question could be $140K, or put quite simply, $60K more than that $80K Z06.

      It cracks me up how people are tossing around prices like they are nothing but numbers. In the rear world, the price matters to all but the most filthy stinkin’ rich. And I’d guess that it would still matter to the majority of them as well.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Well at one point in time the Grand Wagoneer was a popular choice among the seriously wealthy as something to keep at/take to their country/weekend home. Of course at that time there wasn’t much in the way of competition.

    • 0 avatar
      PenguinBoy

      “this was always a car for the privileged; at the end of its run in the early 1990s, 58 per cent of its buyers were college-educated, and they had a median income of $98,200, one of the highest of any vehicle then on the market.”

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/reviews/classics/why-you-should-buy-a-1980s-jeep-grand-wagoneer-right-now/article26124609/

    • 0 avatar

      Grand Cherokees are still very popular with old money in the North East. http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2012/08/jeep_is_only_american-made_bra.html

      Really common sight up here Overland GC’s galore in every upscale neighborhood.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Does it have three count em three portal axles and a 12,000 lb winch front and back and running 40’s?

    This will work as well as Cadillac’s attempt to go head to head with the European luxury brands.

    Did I just hibernate winter and wake up April 1st?

    • 0 avatar

      Except going head-to-head with European luxury brands is in Cadillac’s DNA. Just because they’ve blown it for five decades chasing market share…

      50 years ago, there were upper-crust models that could be cross-shopped with Mercedes and Rolls-Royce. Depended on what you wanted; Mercedes was always more of a driver’s car, while a Fleetwood was the very definition of opulence.

      Cadillac’s biggest mistake has always been just plain becoming too common. Yes, even bigger than building crappy Cimarrons and Cateras that zig and 4-6-8’s that didn’t run.

      But I digress.

      Jeep never played in that arena and to start now will take TIME. As in DECADES. And if they don’t get EXCLUSIVITY and all it entails, the rest of it won’t matter, no matter how good the vehicle may be.

      FCA will be out of business before that happens.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Budda-Boom – well, yes at one time Cadillac had a globally competitive car. They f^cked that up and are finding just how hard it is to get it back. FCA Jeep on the other hand has NEVER had a high end image.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    I think Jeep has a strong brand, and has room to move further upscale. As mentioned above, the old Grand Wagoneer was popular among the wealthy and it still has a following today. I also suspect that the Grand Cherokee attracts a different demographic than most FCA products, or even most American brands.

    The key, I think, will be to move upmarket slowly, and make sure the product lives up to its brand promise. They should also plan to not sell too many at first.

    I also believe that tasteful and understated would be the way to go here; I expect someone who wants to impress the plebes will gravitate towards one of the established European marques or possibly an Escalade. They should probably target the kind of person who can afford a nice vehicle, but likes to slip by unnoticed. Possibly someone who has a Land Cruiser today, but whose parents used to keep an old Grand Wagoneer at their beach house 30 years ago..

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Yes, the world is ready for a $140k Jeep. They just won’t sell many of them.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Why only 140k? Why not 250k or more? It could have a turbo 4 on a Jeep Cherokee platform. Think how much profit FCA would make? FCA dealers could do like the airlines do for first class service and put a curtain between the customer service waiting room of the regular customers and those customers who would buy this and offer biscoffs and a latte machine to those customers.

  • avatar

    I think in a press conference last year FCA claimed the average GC buyer, had an income of over 150k. I have to believe there is room in the low 6 figures for a jeep.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    In the short term, $140k is a stretch.

    Ford sells a ridiculous number of their King Ranch and Limited F-150s, optioned up to $50-$60k. I recall reading somewhere that the most popular Grand Cherokee is the Limited and a local dealership cannot keep the more expensive Overland models in stock. Those are between $40-$50k units.

    If FCA can crank up the fit and finish and refinements, get the right people (celebs and athletes) to buy them, the future “Grand Wagoneer” will be a hit. I could see them selling a solid number of $70-$100k priced luxury models, done right.

    For all the talk of Range Rover, I think people are forgetting that Jeep is essentially North America’s “Range Rover”

    The question is if FCA can build the brand to command those prices. I imagine that 40 years ago nobody would have envisioned “luxury” Range Rovers like we have today.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    The $140K model doesn’t have to do well. The whole point of having a model at that price is to make the $100K Escalade-fighter look like a bargain.

    Range Rover does the exact same thing with their “Autobiography” models. They make the standard Range Rover seem rational.

    For those who still don’t get it, here’s the plan. Someone is shopping a large luxury SUV, finds out that Jeep has a hyper-expensive model, checks it out, goes home in the cheaper $100K Jeep because it’s 98% as good. They probably wouldn’t even have shopped Jeep if not for the range-topper (pun intended).

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      Except that nobody will be buying the $100K version either. It’s a failed plan from the get go….

      • 0 avatar
        hreardon

        White Shadow –

        They’ll be able to move metal at $100k if the product is right. Jeep has one of, if not the best, brand identity in the auto industry. The people who buy the $100k models are the same people who can afford the Rover, S Class Maybach, Bentley, Maserati, etc., but instead buy Tahoes, Land Cruisers, Subarus and Suburbans. because they want to put on appearances of modesty.

        Jeep would slot well into that “modest” slot, and will also appeal to those who like the brand’s rugged, outdoors-y image.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Considering people will spend $30k on a package from AEV for a Wrangler, I can see some of these upper end models selling just fine.

    Different class, sure, but we are talking about $65-$80 for a Wrangler.

  • avatar
    awdpanda

    At least with a larger car and possibly higher ground clearance, when a driver misplaces putting the gear in park, you can duck and stay under.


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