Jeep Trick: Top Brass Advocate for Separate Jeep Showrooms

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
jeep trick top brass advocate for separate jeep showrooms

With the house of Stellantis constantly exploring the upper echelons of what customers will pay for a rig with a Jeep badge on its nose, it seems that placing six-figure Grand Wagoneer L models next to entry-level Ram work trucks has become passé. If some corner-office dwellers have their way, Jeeps – or at least the snazzy ones – could earn a place in their own showroom.

It’s a trick as old as the auto industry itself, of course. Witness the spectre of Lincoln showrooms bifurcating their way through Ford stores like a caramel-colored slice of sweet cake. Separating the wheat from the chaff is a common way of catering to customers planning on splashing out the big bucks – especially if they are new to the brand and trading out of a legacy luxury brand. Jeep wants in on this action.

According to Automotive News, brand CEO Christian Meunier expects that more than 300 dealers will be adding Jeep-only sections to their premises over the next two calendar years. He anticipates these spaces will house rigs like the Grand Wagoneer L mentioned above, plus the forthcoming all-electric SUVs from the off-road brand. Some, like the Michigan-based LaFontaine dealer shown at the top of this post, jumped on the idea way back in pre-pandemic times, reserving (and branding) a wing of their new facility solely for the purposes of hawking Jeeps.

Notice nowhere in the missive does it suggest a stand-alone dealership for Jeep. GM went down that road with the Hummer brand 15 years ago, leaving many of the inventively designed buildings high and dry when The General smothered the brand with a pillow during an embarrassing sojourn through bankruptcy. Still, there’s an appetite to cleave Jeep just slightly from the typical Stellantis dealer hive.

“Because of the product plan and the growth opportunity for Jeep in North America in the next five years, the dealers are going to be, I think, very much engaged,” Meunier said in an interview with Automotive News. This author recently spent a healthy amount of time chatting with the Jeep CEO during the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab and can confidently say the man is all-in on pushing the Jeep envelope both in terms of product and price.

Will dealership groups and retailers be on board with this idea? Knowing the thought processes of dealer principals, we can confidently say they’ll jump only if they see the return on investment – or a change in their allocations, of course. It’ll be interesting to see which ones pick up the gauntlet versus who continues to pack six-figure Grand Wagoneers cheek-to-jowl with stripped-out work vans.

[Image: LaFontaine Automotive Group]

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3 of 20 comments
  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on May 06, 2022

    I don't see what the point is, except to make the dealer spend money. The dealer I got my Challenger from has about 1/3 of all the dealerships in the area, Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, and CJDR, and they built a very nice Fiat building (Per Fiat's demand) across the street from most of the others, and soon it became the Mazda store when they took over that franchise from the long time dealership that sold out the Honda side recently. Last year, they built a new Chevy dealership just as Covid and the chip shortage kicked in. I heard that Chevy made them build it or they wouldn't renew their deal with them. That place has more inventory right now than it has had since it opened. I don't know if they are actually selling much right now though. In a small town nearby, FCA forced a long time dealer to build a new store and he wasn't able to make it, so he sold it to the nearby Chevy (and more) group. Maybe it's an easy way to weed out the "weak players"?

    • Here4aSammich Here4aSammich on May 10, 2022

      You gotta be in Toledo too, based on everything you just referenced. I avoid that group, even though they are literally right down the street from me. Didn't know the backstory about the BG dealer. The old store was seriously old school. did the showroom even hold two cars? Headed to Woodville this weekend to pick up our new Wrangler 4xe from the last 1 store family dealership around. 4th Jeep we've bought there.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on May 06, 2022

    Maybe they could just park the jeeps at those Alfa/FIAT showrooms they made the dealers shell out for a few years back that are now housing used cars.

  • Robert I have had 4th gen 1996 model for many years and enjoy driving as much now as when I first purchased it - has 190 hp variant with just the right amount of power for most all driving situations!
  • ToolGuy Meanwhile in Germany...
  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that
  • John Williams Sounds like a Burnout Special you can put together on any 5.0 F150. Whoever said this was Cars and Coffee bait is right on the money.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 (  Bronze or  Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the  Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??