Jeep Grand Cherokee Redesign Delayed
Strong Demand, Projected Refresh Keep Interest in Current SUV High
Citing strong demand for the current Jeep Grand Cherokee, company executives say they may delay the next-generation Jeep flagship by a year or more. The announcement seems to confirm earlier rumors about delays in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pipeline.
The Grand Cherokee will be refreshed significantly next year, and that will help keep interest in the SUV high, the company hopes. Although the Grand Cherokee will be delayed, Jeep will likely post another excellent year, as global sales through the first five months of 2015 have been up 20 percent. 2014 was the first year for Jeep to eclipse 1 million sales worldwide, and 2015 will likely follow suit.
Much of that is thanks to successful local production of key Jeep models. Jeep’s Brazilian manufacturing facility is currently producing the global-market–friendly Jeep Renegade, and a factory in China will begin building the Cherokee at the end of the year, with the Renegade coming to that facility early next year.
With high demand for almost all of Jeep’s models (including the long-in-tooth Wrangler), a simple refresh of the Grand Cherokee will likely hold most buyers over just fine. We have few complaints about the current model, even compared to some of its newer competitors. Those complaints include a slightly outdated infotainment system (although it is easy to use), some chintzy interior materials, and a slightly busy, chrome-heavy front end when equipped with certain option packages.
Jeep executives haven’t speculated on what the next-generation Grand Cherokee may hold, but in an article in Detroit News, division CEO Mike Manley said next year would bring not only the Grand Cherokee refresh but also the replacement for the Patriot and Compass crossovers. The next Grand will arrive in 2018, and a Grand Wagoneer should show at the same time, according to Manley.
Sources: Jeep, Detroit News