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Jeep Grand Cherokee L arriving in showrooms to expand brand’s reach

A 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L scales a rocky hill at Stellantis’ Chelsea Proving Grounds in Michigan.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

CHELSEA, Mich. – Jim Morrison smiles as he hears the piercing noise of rocks scraping the undercarriage of the Jeep he’s driving.

“The most important thing for us at Jeep is to prove our capability,” he says scaling a rock hill at a proving ground for Stellantis, Jeep’s parent company. “That’s what took us a bit longer than everybody else. It had to be a true Jeep first.”

The vehicle Morrison, vice president of Jeep’s North American operations, is driving is the 2021 Grand Cherokee L. It’s a new model for the brand that’s scheduled to arrive in showrooms next week as Jeep’s first three-row vehicle in more than a decade.

By expanding the Grand Cherokee from a two-row to three-row SUV, Jeep is seeking to attract new buyers and retain current owners who previously had to leave the brand if they wanted a bigger vehicle. It’s a key growth area for the brand amid an influx of new competitors such as the well-received Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade SUVs.

“It’s going to really help us grow the top-end of the business , which is good to attract new customers,” Morrison said, adding the Grand Cherokee already has a customer loyalty rate of nearly 50%.”That’s good for the profitability of the company.”

Higher profits

1 million sales?

Workers at Stellantis’ Detroit Assembly plant which produces the new 2021 Grand Cherokee L, a new three-row SUV.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

The automaker also is adding production of the Wagoneer models at a plant in suburban Detroit, bringing the number of plants producing Jeeps in the U.S. to six.

“Jeep is one of those crown jewels among automotive brands,” Degen said. “The Jeep brand itself is really, really important to Stellantis overall, especially for American sales.”

By the end of this year, Jeep is expected to expand its lineup from six vehicles to nine, including the Grand Cherokee L and Wagoneer vehicles. That excludes new plug-in hybrid models such as the current Wrangler 4xe and upcoming Grand Cherokee.

Grand Cherokee L

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2021-06-19 09:30:01

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