Doubled-up Production Leads Jeep Wrangler to Another Sales Record

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
doubled up production leads jeep wrangler to another sales record

If you didn’t pop into a Fiat Chrysler dealer last month to pick up a Jeep Wrangler, congratulations, you’re now a nonconformist.

April was the best-ever U.S. sales month for the go-anywhere model, but the cause had more to do with availability than Americans suddenly discovering their rugged side. With old and new models rolling off of two Toledo assembly lines, buyers found themselves spoiled for choice. (The JK model ceased production on April 27th).

How well did the Wrangler do last month? The model accounted for almost as many sales as the entire Acura and Infiniti brands combined.

Some 29,776 Wranglers left U.S. dealer lots in April — a 58 percent year-over-year increase for the model. Following on the heels of another record sales month, April’s tally helped pushed Wrangler’s year-to-date volume up 42 percent.

The 12-year-old JK model continued in production for a period of about six months after FCA flipped the switch on its revamped 2018 JL models. The old JK’s line now undergoes retooling for the upcoming Wrangler pickup, tentatively named the Scrambler.

While the production overlap provided all the vehicles a dealer (or customer) could want, all things eventually come to an end. This isn’t a Ram 1500 situation. Once JK inventory dwindles, the JL will have to stand on its own. (The Toledo Blade reports that local dealers spent this spring selling JKs and JLs in roughly equal numbers.)

Still, the Wrangler’s riding high now, and Jeep’s happy about it. Increased sales of the Wrangler nameplate helped push the Jeep brand to a 20 percent year-over-year sales gain for April, with volume up 21 percent over the first four months of 2018. With the exception of Alfa Romeo, Jeep is the only FCA division with a positive year-to-date sales figure. A larger, all-around better Compass helped overall sales, as well.

It’s a similar story north of the border. Wrangler sales rose 54 percent, year over year, in April, with the model posting a 158 percent volume increase over the first four months of the year. Sales of Jeep-branded vehicles rose 30 percent over that same period.

Canadians suffering from near-record gas prices are no doubt eagerly awaiting the Wrangler JL’s available turbo 2.0-liter/eight-speed powertrain combo. Right now, dealers stock only 3.6-liter variants.

(Stay tuned for an industry-wide roundup of April 2018 sales figures. We’ll get that for you once all automakers report.)

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
2 of 9 comments
  • Add Lightness Add Lightness on May 01, 2018

    When I se a picture of some new jeep, all I can think of is the Halibrandish wheels some of them have. Everything else is wannabee w/out painted steel floors, fold-down windscreen, zippered side curtains, Warn hubs etc.

  • John Horner John Horner on May 03, 2018

    Wait, you forgot the obligatory FCA bashing :).

  • Tassos Unlike Tim, I don't use this space as a wastebasket for ANYTHING BUT a proper used car.If you seriously need a car AND you are as destitute as Tim's finds imply, HERE IS A PROPER ONE FOR YOUR NEEDS:You can probably get it for only $4k, WITH Leather, Factory Navigation, plenty of room and a V6. even considered getting it myself as an extra reliable car.
  • Jeff Of all the EV trucks I like the Rivian the best but I am still years away if ever from buying an EV.
  • Kwik_Shift I definitely like the looks of the newest 300s over the Chargers.
  • SCE to AUX "Should car companies shack up with tech giants in order to produce legible infotainment systems and the like? Or should they go it alone?"Great question(s).The River Rouge days are gone, where Ford produced whole cars out of raw materials entering the plant at the other end. Nearly everything is outsourced these days - sometimes well, sometimes disastrously.But the problem with infotainment systems is that they are integrated with the car's operation. VW has delayed entire products for issues with infotainment.For me, the question boils down to a contractual arrangement - who owns and maintains the code forever? Since more and more of the car's function is tied to the infotainment system, I'd argue that the car mfr needs to own it - especially the larger ones.Do mfrs really want to share intellectual property with Huawei just to fast-track some code they've managed themselves in the past?
  • Kwi65728132 I always did like the styling of the 300C and it was on my short list for a new (to me) rear wheel drive, naturally aspirated V8 luxury sedan but I found a Hyundai Equus that was better optioned than any 300C I could find and for several grand less.