By on July 8, 2016

1978-jeep-wagoneer

Language is everything. Comments by Jeep brand chief Mike Manley published earlier this week implied that the upcoming Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer would be upscale versions of the Grand Cherokee, but that’s no longer the case.

The two models will share the same architecture as the next-generation Grand Cherokee, which bows in late 2018 or 2019, but it’s now confirmed that they’ll be standalone models — not upscale trim levels.

An editor’s note posted to the Automotive News source story clarifies Manley’s comments. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles assures Jeep aficionados that the two models, which resurrect the name of the revered SUV built from 1963 to 1991, will be slotted above the Grand Cherokee in the automaker’s lineup.

Jeep is a huge revenue generator for FCA, with monthly U.S. sales peaking above 90,000 units in May. The brand’s sales tally has essentially doubled in the past four years, and FCA wants to keep up that momentum. That means bringing Jeep to emerging high-growth markets and fleshing out its lineup at home.

The Wagoneer and range-topping Grand Wagoneer are meant to capture sales from the premium SUV market, dominated not just by German and Japanese luxury marques, but Cadillac, Lincoln, and Land Rover, too. So, expect piles of luxury when the models arrive after their platform mate’s debut.

Bringing back the storied nameplates was a no-brainer, with Manley telling Automotive News, “The Wagoneer name represents, historically, the pinnacle of premium for the Jeep world.”

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42 Comments on “About Face: Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer Will be Separate Models, FCA Claims...”


  • avatar
    frozenman

    Hey FCA, “getting wood” is not necessarily a bad thing.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      A tasteful strip of wood like the picture above would be very welcome by me. Say 6 to 8 in wide, ringed in chrome. I could see that being much more welcome than the “vinyl siding” look.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’d say the woody wagon has had it’s day.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        I adore woody wagons, first two cars I imprinted upon, but I can’t see that working with today’s rat-in-estrus body styles. Needs mostly rectangular boxes with slab sides.

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          The woodgrain applique trim, was recollecting a past for the wagon bodystyle – which was not that long ago, back when Country Squires were big sellers, but is more than two-generations removed now.

          To young people it’s irrelevant. To egg-shaped vehicles, even wagons like the Taurus, it’s silly. Which was of course why they never thought to make a Taurus Squire wagon.

          Like the Continental spare, the wood-on-the-sides went from functional to a style to reminisce, to irrelevance. Frankly, I say good riddance – it could look nice, but that Di-Noc wood didn’t hold up with time in the sun, even as well as the cheaper paint jobs. And removing it years later was more work than it was worth.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          The Grand Wagoneer needs just that boxy/slab styling. If they go for rounded swoop with lousy visibility, it won’t work.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            It needs more than that.

            The sorry Commander of years past had that slab look…the thing looked like a stretched XJ that was in the sun too long.

            They have several needs. They need a style that is practical yet balanced to the eye. They need to engineer some durability into the product.

            And they need to identify who it is for. If it’s Biff and Buffy…I don’t know what to say about that, but Biff and Buffy won’t be playing Raiders of the Lost Ark for all their lives.

            And in the end that’s why I think putting all their money on the Jeep square is a risky thing. It won’t last. Frankly it cannot…these times are an anomaly. They won’t last and won’t probably return.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I am glad. I have stock in this company.
    I WANT them to invest. I am angry that so much of their products are old and simply updated crap.

    Then again, I have stock in GM and Ford as well…I although an am deeply angry with Ford for pulling out from the GOP convention. I simply do not allow my investments to get political, in any way or form. For or against any side or opinion.

    Money is money.

    The problem is I like SUVs and I like wagons. I hope this is a really nice advancement. I hope it is lighter and more efficient. I test drove twice now the new Pacifica and love it. I only wish it had better low end MPG. Looking forward to the Hybrid this fall.

    I was also impressed with the new CX9.

    If this new wagon(?) can be like these, I am hopeful for the company.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Sigh, I can’t believe I’m wading into this but I’ve always respected you TT so perhaps you can explain it to me.

      Ford staying on as a sponsor of the Republican Convention would have been LESS political than pulling out?

      Granted I’m in the “pox on both their houses” camp at this point. This is an election between Grandma Nixon and an Orange Traffic Cone covered in raw sewage.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Oh, my…principal. I had respect for you till you said you had respect for me. Never trusted anybody who thought well of me. A sure sign of weakness of character judgement. Have been suspicious of my wife for 36 years now from her agreeing to marry me.

        I do not want this turned into a political conversation…I am sorry.
        I want TTAC to be my car sanctuary.

        However, to address your question.

        I don’t like my investments to play politics.
        Want them to stay away from the political correctness and concentrate on making me money.
        Not really complicated.
        I am somewhat contained since my advisors suggest they also removed themselves from the democratic convention as well.
        I had called ranting about it and asking them to get rid of any holding that does act this way.

        So, if this was a simple all around move based upon return for their marketing investment, great.

        And like you, I also am not a happy camper for any party these days. Guess I never really was…being such a rabid individualist hippy. I am somewhat surprised and proud when I actually see a political player doing something based upon conviction and not the player’s own political power or employment.

        On either side. And I am getting the feeling this is the real reason the folks around me seem to be so Trumpish. They are really tired of the fake leaders and the game. They are angry and simply rolling the dice.

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          TT: “I do not want this turned into a political conversation…I am sorry.
          I want TTAC to be my car sanctuary.”

          Sadly, it’s impossible to now discuss cars without discussing the politics which control their design. For example: You say, bring back the J-100/SJ model. A lot of people agree with you – there’s a shop in Texas which does assembly-line restoration of Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer models. THERE IS A MARKET for such a vehicle.

          There is not the legal permission. ALL cars today have to be designed around myriad government standards – everything from how far from your nose is the windshield, to how many blow-up cushions are built in; to where the gas tank is; to how much gas it USES. So MANY cars have been discontinued for these new standards…the Suzuki Swift/Geo Metro, for example. You sneer; but those things were so cheap to run, it was almost cheaper than a bicycle. But they didn’t make the new crash-and-crumple and fuel-tank standards, so they’re gone.

          Likewise this old Willys/Kaiser/AMC model. It would be absolutely fantastic if it COULD be brought back; but it will only happen if/when the regulators are choked out and their work obliterated.

          EVERYTHING today is politics. It’s incredibly corrupting…everything from bedding to how you can talk to your coworkers, is regulated by politics and political/legal mandates.

    • 0 avatar

      The illusion here is that any of your investments aren’t political. Ever heard of K Street?

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        no.
        making money is the religion all in itself.
        making money is about the most anti political, moral thing there is.

        it is just about money. or should be…investment wise for me.
        i invest in companies. long term. not a market guy.

        others invest in causes…i like profit. i do causes on the side.

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          Mazda is right, here – there is no making money without politicking. Government is now SO involved in ALL levels of life that it’s folly to try to run a business without recruiting government ministers – with, of course, Campaign Ca$h.

          The last two attempts to run a business without politics, were, Microsoft in the 1990s – where Netscape and Oracle used THEIR lobbyists to get government to attack their competition, Microsoft, on trumped-up claims of “monopolizing” parts of the market.

          And then Wal-Mart, which up until ten years ago, did not do any lobbying. But the unions which wanted them destroyed, sure did…Wal-Mart learned. Now they lobby and they take pro-government postures on Minimum Wage and goobermint healthcare – which pleases the political class.

          NO long-term successful business operation, anymore, without lobbying and without graft.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I guess with all this politics infiltrating your life, there’s no reason to walk up the stairs from mom’s basement and look for a job. About the only thing that ISN’T political these days is the beloved Xbox.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Wait till you’re his age. You won’t say something like “walk up the stairs” so airily.

            BTW, did you know that the most dangerous thing about using a cane is jamming a toe into it? That’s a toe on your “good side”, so now you’ve lamed your good side and you got no good side to catch you when kicking the cane makes you topple.

            Respect the wisdom of age.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            VoGo

            not sure about even the Xbox not being political.

            Seems like a lotta hidden crap goin on there.

            My son, who designs the art for this and teaches the photoshop game art, is always complaining about the politics behind the game designs. And the mindlessness of the entire culture behind the games.

            And the politics/PC involved with controlling the game designs and looks…getting pretty noisy.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You’re right, TT,

            There’s certainly politics involved with our young men spending 6 hours/day training as electronic mass murderers.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, isn’t Ford BEING at a convention in the first place political to begin with?

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    FCA doesn’t understand this market; and don’t know what they’re doing. They’re just flailing, puzzled at the backlash every time they announce a “broadening” appeal – by putting seven-slot grills on failed FCA cars.

    I don’t understand this market either; but then, I’m not an auto exec with a huge clip-file of press puffery.

    Sergio and his sweater were once courted by Billy Ford to rescue the Blue Oval. I wonder if he knows now, the bullet he dodged when he wound up hiring Mulally as a second choice.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      What part of the market don’t they understand? They are selling nearly 200,000 Grand Cherokees a year in the US, so they can’t be that far off-target.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        The part where they announce they’re going to badge-engineer the long-waited-for new Wagoneer. And then the negative hue and cry, which they obviously did not expect.

        Accidental success proves little; and especially when it’s based on fashions and trends that the maker didn’t anticipate or understand. We are one-more financial panic away from the neo-Yuppies all pulling in their horns and stopping dreaming of being Marlboro Men as they brave the trail to Starbucks.

        And, I don’t know, maybe that’s the thinking, originally – that since it’s all a fad and trend, there’s no point in doing REAL engineering on a new product. Just slap the magic seven-slot grille on it, and it’ll sell to Biff and Buffy. And when that all goes away, like the mini-pickup and minivan and car-based pickup went…they’ll have had no deep investment.

        There’s logic to that; but as Henry Ford II proved, you can’t SAVE your way through a difficult market. You only make the retraction slower and manageable, for a time.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          My take is that the original statement was mis-interpreted. I really doubt that they decided to build a new variant over the July 4 long weekend and are announcing it now. It’s much more likely that the design is mostly locked-off already.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            I seriously doubt that.

            What this was, thinks I, was a trial balloon. Send it up and see what the reaction would be.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Literacy skills would solve a lot of problems around here.

            From the Automotive News article that TTAC blogged previously:
            ____________

            Editor’s Note: A previous version of the story implied that the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer being developed by Jeep were luxury trim levels of the Grand Cherokee. They are separate vehicles.
            ____________

            http://www.autonews.com/article/20160704/OEM04/307049965/1657

            TTAC got it wrong because it (understandably) misinterpreted the story from Automotive News. This is a media error.

    • 0 avatar
      Serpens

      @JustPassinThru

      You literally have NO idea what you’re talking about and are clearly biased against FCA. The statement Manley made was misinterpreted, point blank. This wasn’t some type of “trial balloon” for a “reaction”. Do you have any idea how long it takes to develop a car? The design for the Wagoneer has been locked-in for over a year and was never a trim level of the Grand Cherokee.

      You also don’t understand the origins of the platform for this car and why it will be a great addition to the Jeep lineup. The Grand Wagoneer in particular looks fantastic (I’ve seen it).

      And no, for the record, I’m not an FCA employee nor do I own any stock in the company. I did briefly date someone who was though. :)

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        No…just a slavish fanboi.

        Sorry I offended you by not joining you in worship of Sergio and his sweaters.

        • 0 avatar
          Serpens

          You didn’t offend me. I just found your lack of knowledge on the matter astounding given your strong opinions. I do have to say thanks for confirming that you are talking out of your rear end.

  • avatar

    So will these things be more reliable than the Grand Cherokee?

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      Uh…no.

      This is FCA we’re talking about…Sergio Motors. They never saw a government handout or crony deal they didn’t just have to sign onto.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I just want them to give me the car in the picture!!!

    Bring back real art.

    I actually think the Flex might have been this if it was not sooooo loooong. I guess it was really supposed to be their minivan replacement, but it is just to long.

    Just cut off the rear a tiny bit and give us the International it almost resembles.

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    NOT…GONNA…HAPPEN, TT.

    Between government safety standards; government fuel economy standards; standards regarding the placement of gasoline tanks; standards requiring beams in occupants’ doors…there is just no way that the old Willys J-100 model will be recreated. Closest you’ll get is the Nukizer or that Cherokee Chief showcar based on the Wrangler.

    Sorry. It is what it is. Allowing our products to be dictated by or engineered by government bureaucrats…has costs. All cars are gonna look like wheeled bananas from here on.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      or door wedges.

      Rats.
      I think you are right…except every time I see the Subaru Forester showing me that the views can still be had. The roof line does not have to slowly fade until there is no more D or rear window.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Hmm, so platform mates. I’m pleasantly surprised, they did need something above the GC, it’s too big a jump to the Levante, and Stelvio is still MIA. They’d best make it a true three-row, and hopefully they don’t cannibalize JGC sales.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    In all technicality, those zj grand Cherokee wagoneers we were making fun of in the the other article are actually considered completely different models than the non woodgrain grand Cherokees by the dealerships and parts stores and insurance companies

  • avatar
    65corvair

    It should be based on the full size Ram pickup. Needs to have a hood scoop. It needs to be bigger than the Grand Cherokee. Toyota reliability would help.

  • avatar
    LIKE TTAC.COM ON FACEBOOK

    While the romantic couple in faded denim gazes across the lake, some backpacker is stealing the suitcase from their Jeep.

  • avatar
    AJ

    Jeep has to do it right, or it’s just going to be another short life Commander that just took sales away from the Grand Cherokee.

    I’ll also add that I loved the original Wagoneer. IMHO, it’s one of the most beautiful SUVs ever created, and why it’s such a classic.

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