Jeep has a legendary reputation, but a growing number of rivals

Business

It is hard not to notice Jeep’s good fortune. 

The brand exclusively makes sport utility vehicles — and, now, one pickup — allowing it to stroll right into today’s car market with just the right offerings, while other brands have had to scramble to adjust to consumer tastes. 

In the U.S., Jeep is its parent Fiat Chrysler’s strongest selling brand. Fiat sold 923,291 Jeeps in the U.S. in 2019, compared with 703,023 RAM pickup trucks, FCA’s next highest selling brand. Around the world, Jeep sold 1.49 million vehicles.

Jeep’s customer base is thought to be loyal and enthusiastic. There are Jeep clubs, which since at least the 1950s have been organizing drives through places like the Sierra Nevada mountains.

But as SUVs become more popular, other automakers are rejiggering their own lineups to stock dealer lots with taller, more capable vehicles. Segments that Jeep used to have almost all to itself are now filling up with competitors.

One recent example is the Ford Bronco, a brand the Detroit automaker has revived and placed in a category that Jeep’s Wrangler off-roader has long dominated. 

Jeep is also entering new categories itself. It is coming out with a plug-in hybrid version of the Wrangler, which is the greenest Wrangler available now and the most powerful Wrangler ever made. Jeep is also reviving the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer names to enter the three-row SUV segment, an important slice of the market Jeep has no presence in yet. 

With rivals nipping at its heels, these moves will be closely watched to see if Jeep can keep its edge. 

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