Wow. The new Durango has been pushed back another 2 years? So now 2023?!
'16 Hemi Citadel
As for merging with another company, that isn't new. Sergio was actively seeking a partner before he passed away. The car business isn't the same anymore. At least not for the American car companies. Ford has dropped all cars (except Mustang) from their US market and sticking with SUVs and crossovers. Chevy is following suit, only keeping the Camaro (Corvette continues as their specialty car) and for who knows how long. FCA is finding ways to keep interest in their main cars, Charger/Challenger, with minimal investment. Nothing wrong with that. Instead of coming out with the Demon, Redeye, 1320 or Widebody options, they could have killed them off years ago. I think their willingness to find new ways to market them should be appreciated by any Mopar fan.
They clearly feel the Jeep badge is more important than the Dodge badge. Durango has been stuck on 66-68k/year for sales, when many other 3-row competitors sell over 100k/yr. They have blamed it on JNAP being at capacity, but they sell over 200k GC's, so why not shift some of that production if that was the case.
It is astonishing how many Grand Caravans have sold, but I wonder how many are fleet?
'16 Hemi Citadel
Here's some info on the three-row Jeep with a quote from an FCA exec:
Jeep’s growth is set to continue at pace with FCA boss (and still Jeep head) Mike Manley confirming that a new seven-seat model will be launched as well as the often-rumoured, bigger, Wagoneer model.
“We’ve made some announcements for investments in our US plants, which are really important for us because that brings two additional products to our Jeep portfolio, segments that frankly I've wanted to be in for a long time,” said Manley. “One is the large SUV segment. There are relatively few competitors in there, but it could be a great segment for Jeep and we'll bring back the Grand Wagoneer at that time.
“Then the second is a three row Jeep, which will technically play in the same segment as Grand Cherokee. Roughly 60% of that segment is three row, so Grand Cherokee has really only played in 40%. That will open up that part of the segment for us.”
The new three-row SUV will sit alongside a new Grand Cherokee model, but is unlikely to wear the iconic nameplate.
All three new models are expected to appear some time in 2019, after Jeep has launched its Gladiator pick-up. And with plug-in power for the Renegade and Compass models starring for Jeep at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, expect hybrid power to feature in Wagoneer, Grand Cherokee and the new three-row model, too.
This article speculates:
https://www.autoblog.com/2019/03/11/...w-suv-details/These details make it clear where Jeep is positioning this three-rower for the future — below the Grand Wagoneer, but above the Grand Cherokee. It's starting to look like a true competitor to vehicles like the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse and Honda Pilot. The five-seat Grand Cherokee is the only SUV Jeep has to go up against those models in the midsize SUV segment now, which ices out folks in need of those couple extra seats. The Grand Wagoneer is still expected to be the larger, more luxurious three-row vehicle of these two, as well.
It's not clear to me what all this means. But there's no hint of a Three Row Jeep SRT Trackhawk anytime in the next few years--why would they, when a base model would already sell pretty well? And there *are* unnamed FCA sources telling news outlets that there will be a Durango SRT Trackhawk soon.
I'm happy to buy either. Really whatever's fastest and not too expensive.
2019 Durango SRT in Granite Crystal (ordered 9/2018, delivered 12/2018)
The Jeep brand has been a solid contributor for years. When Chrysler took over AMC, getting Jeep was a big part of the deal. Chrysler saw the value in that brand. It has only gotten more valuable. Dodge/Chrysler isn't a big seller overseas but, put a JEEP badge on it and it will sell. So, knowing that, if you were FCA would you market the new 3-row SUV as anything but a new JEEP?
RAM was thought to be where the full-size SUV would come from for years. The name Ramcharger kept floating around. But with Jeep's continued success and loyal customers asking for it, it makes financial sense to have this model show up as a Jeep and wear a name clearly identified with luxury SUV, Grand Wagoneer. That truck sold for years without any updates.
"The Jeep Wagoneer is the first luxury 4x4, sold and produced for Jeep by several automakers from 1962 to 1991. Marketed as a station wagon, the design became known as "sport utility vehicle" (SUV) when Jeep first used the term for the 1974 Cherokee version. The 4WD Wagoneer stayed in production for 29 model-years (1963–1991) with almost unchanged body-structure, making it the third longest-produced single generation car in U.S. automotive history..."
"For 1984, AMC replaced the SJ-body Cherokee with the all-new, compact and more fuel-efficient unibody Jeep Cherokee (XJ), and introduced a upscale version of the (XJ) known as the Wagoneer. The compact XJ Wagoneer was available in two trim levels: the "Wagoneer" and the "Wagoneer Limited". AMC originally intended for these vehicles to replace the SJ-body Wagoneer models but high demand prompted the company to keep the old SJ-body Wagoneer in production alongside them despite the fact the design, largely unchanged since 1962, was becoming increasingly antiquated."
Jeep has a history of tough, off-road capable and luxurious SUVs. The two new offerings from FCA will wear the JEEP badge because it offers the most potential for a successful launch. After that, who knows? Maybe that 3-row SUV will end up getting a new face and be introduced as the 2021 Dodge Durango. But I don't see it as slowly killing the Durango. I just see it as an auto manufacturer trying to ensure their continued success.