Going It Alone: One-brand-only Jeep Dealers Grow in Numbers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Slowly but surely, a phenomenon is spreading across the United States: standalone Jeep dealerships, as well as Fiat Chrysler dealers with Jeep showrooms.

Located where the buying public is most receptive, these types of stores could play a larger role in the brand’s future, especially as Jeep prepares to add three new models to its lineup next year.

Such retailers are often given free reign to construct a store in their mind’s eye, and at considerable expense, all with FCA’s blessing. As Automotive News reports, the effort can pay off. Jeep Only, a dealership in Las Vegas, sells 100 Jeeps last month, despite the city’s hard-hit status arising from the pandemic. An associated full-line FCA dealer across the street saw half as much Jeep volume last year, in non-COVID times.

Co-owner John Grant said the mood and decor is different at his store, which opened in March — and even the dress.

“In the standalone store, these people are fun, they wear blue jeans, they wear T-shirts, they are definitely in the upper-income model. It is amazing what people will do and what they spend personalizing these vehicles,” Grant said. “You would almost say it’s insane.”

He added that an en enthusiastic global Jeep boss Christian Meunier visited the store before its grand opening. The idea is one he encourages.

A dealer that sells exclusively Jeeps implies to the customer that the people inside know their stuff. Mike Downey, vice president of Fort Collins Jeep in Colorado, said as much. “It just sends a message that we’re all about Jeep — we’re into Jeeps, just like the customers are,” he said. “I think it gives them a little more confidence in us.”

Between 2016 and 2018, a dozen standalone Jeep stores opened in the U.S., with two more coming online last year. In total, FCA says 59 dealerships are either standalone Jeep stores or feature a dedicated Jeep showroom. The latter option is the cheaper one, and it could prove increasingly popular as the brand continues to grow. Next year, Jeep plans to start production on an unnamed, three-row model related to the next-generation Grand Cherokee, with the Wagoneer and pinnacle Grand Wagoneer arriving to secure Jeep’s place in the full-size, body-on-frame SUV segment.

After adding a Gladiator pickup variant to the Wrangler family last year, Jeep’s Jeepiest model is set to gain a plug-in hybrid variant, as well as a potential V8 model. These, plus the brand’s Renegade, Compass, and Cherokee, makes for a crowded get-together at a full-line dealer. Going it alone allows the models room to breathe and an opportunity to shine.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Eggsalad Eggsalad on Aug 19, 2020

    The FCA US organization is entirely dependent on 2 brands - RAM and Jeep. FIAT is in its death throes, Alfa never was, Chrysler sells a minivan and a sedan that's over a decade old, and Dodge sells a handful of models, most of which are also a decade old.

    • See 1 previous
    • Flipper35 Flipper35 on Aug 20, 2020

      The Dodge models all sell pretty well. The Durango had a refresh not long ago and the Charger/Challenger platform has evolved quite a bit from the DC era.

  • JLGOLDEN JLGOLDEN on Aug 20, 2020

    Image is a strong driver of consumer interest, enthusiasm, and sales. There is some magical resonance hovering around the Jeep brand, despite some models being of mixed heritage. Not everyone is comfortable with a brutish and capable Wrangler for the daily commute. Hell, if needed, FCA could graft a few Jeep styling cues and logos onto a Pacifica, add chunky tires and wheels, and this would be all the "JEEP" that a Mama needs. Ride the wave of popularity with minimal investment.

  • Jerry Haan I have these same lights, and the light output, color, and coverage is amazing!Be aware, these lights interfere with AM and FM radio reception with the stereoreceiver I have in my garage. When the lights are on, I all the AM stations havelots of static, and there are only a couple of FM stations that are clear. When Iturn the lights off, all the radio stations work fine. I have tried magnetic cores on the power cords of the lights, that did not makeany change. The next thing I am going to try is mounting an antenna in my atticto get them away from the lights. I contacted the company for support, they never responded.
  • Lou_BC Are Hot Wheels cars made in China?
  • DS No for 2 reasons. 1-Every new car pipelines data back to the manufacturer; I don't like it with domestic, Japanese and Euro companies and won't put up with it going to Chinese companies that are part financed by their government. 2-People have already mentioned Vinfast, but there's also the case of Hyundai. Their cars were absolutely miserable for years before they learned enough about the US market
  • Theflyersfan Well, if you're on a Samsung phone, (noticing all of the shipping boxes are half Vietnamese), you're using a Vietnam-built phone. Apple? Most of ours in the warehouse say China, but they are trying to spread out to other countries because putting all eggs in the Chinese basket right now is not wise. I'm asking Apple users here (the point of above) - if you're OK using an expensive iPhone, where is your Made in China line in the sand? Can't stress this enough - not being confrontational. I am curious, that's all. Is it because Apple is California-based that manufacturing location doesn't matter, vs a company in a Beijing skyscraper? We have all weekend to hopefully have a civil discussion about how much is too much when it comes to supporting companies being HQ-ed in adversarial countries. I, for one, can't pull the trigger on a Chinese car. All kinds of reasons - political, human rights, war mongering and land grabbing - my morality is ruling my decisions with them.
  • Jbltg Ford AND VAG. What could possibly go wrong?
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