Jeep Re-Builds UK Dealer Network In Advance Of Cherokee Launch

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
jeep re builds uk dealer network in advance of cherokee launch

For a brief stretch of time, Jeep did business in the UK as a purveyor of authentic American SUVs. The Cherokee, Wrangler and Grand Cherokee had a respected niche, even if they didn’t sell in particularly large numbers. And then it all went down the tubes.

According to Just-Auto, Jeep lost over half their dealer network in 2012, creating a problem for Jeep’s UK division. Major ad campaigns were useless, since it was impossible to advertise when franchises could be situated far away from major population centers.

But with the introduction of the Grand Cherokee, Jeep has rebounded. Sales are up 70 percent, and by year end, there should be over 70 dealers in the UK. The next step is the launch of the Cherokee, which Jeep is ambitiously positioning as a rival to the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, as well as the smaller Renegade. Sound crazy? Perhaps. But don’t forget, these are premium vehicles in much of the world.

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  • Anti121hero Anti121hero on Jun 25, 2014

    Kill it with fire!

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jun 25, 2014

    The "premium vehicle" reputation makes me wonder how Sergio expects to sell so many Cherokees in India, much of Asia, South America, and Africa. A less-expensive, smaller AWD Panda based Jeep would be more appropriate.

    • See 1 previous
    • Occam Occam on Jun 26, 2014

      I'm sure they'll sell that too, since one is supposed to be on the way. The premium thing is interesting: A friend was stationed in the UK, and brought his Grand Cherokee with him. He commented on another driver's Freelander, and said he'd love to have one, but couldn't afford it. The guy's jaw hit the ground - a Grand Cherokee was far more luxurious than a Freelander in his eyes. Pricewise, the Freelander and Honda CR-V are fairly close over there.

  • Lie2me Lie2me on Jun 26, 2014

    "But with the introduction of the Grand Cherokee, Jeep has rebounded" Grand Cherokee?

    • Spreadsheet monkey Spreadsheet monkey on Jun 26, 2014

      The WK Grand Cherokee didn't get a lot of love in the UK. The facelift WK2 (with the better diesel engine and 8-speed gearbox giving better mpg and CO2 figures) has been much more popular.

  • Spreadsheet monkey Spreadsheet monkey on Jun 26, 2014

    UK customers aren't stupid. We know the non-premium origins of this car. Interior quality is a big deal in the UK, particularly if attempting to compete against the BMW X3. Brits will buy any old junk, so long as it has nice soft touch plastics on the dashboard. American manufacturers have a reputation (deserved or otherwise) for cheap crappy interiors, and the Cherokee will have to be as good as or better than the competition in order to dispel this. It will also need a very good diesel engine to compete in the premium market, and I'm not sure if the 2.0L Fiat/GM diesel will measure up against Audi and BMW's offerings.