Jeep plans to go upscale and offer a model that will go head-to-head against the venerable Range Rover. This isn’t just some rumor or leaked details on an SUV that might not ever happen, because the news comes straight out of the horse’s mouth. Sergio Marchionne, the man who’s at the head of Fiat Chrysler, said in a recent interview with Bloomberg that his “blood boils” whenever he spots a Range Rover out and about. He’s setting his sights on Land Rover’s flagship vehicle, which means only one thing: war.
Jaguar Land Rover is in an expansionist mood of its own lately. The British have been spawning all sorts of new vehicles, with plenty more to come. If it’s a fight that Fiat Chrysler wants, it will have a serious one on its hands.
The new Jeep model would sit above the new Grand Wagoneer in the lineup. Speculation is that the new vehicle will carry a heavy price tag of about $100,000. Currently, a base Range Rover will set you back $83,495. In reality, most models roll off dealer lots with more equipment and much higher price, then spend significant time at country clubs, luxury shopping malls, etc. It might be hard for that caliber of a car shopper to take a luxury Jeep model seriously, considering that the American brand has a more rough-and-tumble image.
Even more concerning is the fact that Fiat Chrysler is going to potentially engage in cannibalism as the flagship Jeep could end up competing against the Maserati Levante. In fact, some are questioning the wisdom in not just letting Maserati take the fight to Land Rover’s top model. Of course, the Levante won’t be a serious off-roader, so there’s that.
Lately, Jeep’s been riding high as the brand sets new sales records, which could be fueling this new plan. While it seem that everyone wants a Jeep right now, there’s a possibility that going against the Range Rover could be a case of the brand reaching too far outside of its established customer base.