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 sound of rocks scraping the undercarriage of the Jeep he’s driving.

“The most important detail for us at Jeep is to establish our functionality,” he states scaling a rock hill at a proving floor for Stellantis, Jeep’s parent organization. “That is what took us a little bit extended than most people else. It experienced to be a accurate Jeep very first.”

The car or truck Morrison, vice president of Jeep’s North American operations, is driving is the 2021 Grand Cherokee L. It is really a new model for the manufacturer that is scheduled to get there in showrooms up coming 7 days as Jeep’s first a few-row automobile in more than a 10 years.

By expanding the Grand Cherokee from a two-row to three-row SUV, Jeep is seeking to catch the attention of new prospective buyers and retain present owners who beforehand experienced to leave the brand name if they desired a bigger car or truck. It’s a crucial advancement spot for the brand name amid an influx of new rivals these as the nicely-received Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade SUVs.

“It really is likely to actually help us expand the leading-conclusion of the business enterprise , which is fantastic to entice new customers,” Morrison stated, adding the Grand Cherokee currently has a buyer loyalty fee of approximately 50%.”That is good for the profitability of the company.”

Bigger profits

Normal pricing for the Grand Cherokee is usually in close proximity to the best of the midsize SUV segment towards numerous motor vehicles with 3 rows, according to information from Cox Automotive.

Adding the Grand Cherokee L will drive the SUV’s common pricing and income even greater, in accordance to Matt Degen, an editor with the automotive info and insights corporation.

“They’ve essential this auto,” he mentioned. “Creating the Grand Cherokee a 3-row SUV is seriously a no brainer for the model.”

Jim Morrison, vice president of Jeep in North The united states, speaks June 11, 2021 in the course of an function for the new Grand Cherokee L SUV in Detroit.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

Commencing pricing for the Grand Cherokee L will be in between about $37,000 and $66,000. The top-finish pricing is about $9,000 about a comparable two-row model of the existing motor vehicle.

The typical value a buyer compensated for a Grand Cherokee very last month was $45,694, in accordance to Cox. That’s now about $2,600 greater than the regular midsize SUV.

1 million income?

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic shuttering assembly crops final year, Jeep’s U.S. sales had topped 900,000 SUVs for two consecutive several years.

Degen thinks Jeep’s domestic sales could best 1 million in the foreseeable potential with the additions of the Grand Cherokee L as nicely as the greater Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs that are scheduled to go on sale later this yr.

Stellantis, previously Fiat Chrysler, is considerably expanding Jeep manufacturing in the U.S. The automaker expended $1.6 billion to transform a former engine complicated into a comprehensive assembly plant for the 2021 Grand Cherokee. It was the city’s first new assembly plant in 30 several years.

Employees at Stellantis’ Detroit Assembly plant which generates the new 2021 Grand Cherokee L, a new a few-row SUV.

Michael Wayland | CNBC

The automaker also is introducing output of the Wagoneer types at a plant in suburban Detroit, bringing the amount of plants developing Jeeps in the U.S. to six.

“Jeep is 1 of individuals crown jewels amongst automotive brands,” Degen claimed. “The Jeep manufacturer itself is really, seriously vital to Stellantis all round, primarily for American sales.”

By the conclude of this year, Jeep is predicted to develop its lineup from 6 motor vehicles to 9, like the Grand Cherokee L and Wagoneer vehicles. That excludes new plug-in hybrid versions this sort of as the current Wrangler 4xe and upcoming Grand Cherokee.

Grand Cherokee L

The 2021 Grand Cherokee L is recognizable as a Jeep but options a new exterior design with horizonal LED daytime functioning lights, a broader seven-slot grille and other design and style factors that debuted past calendar year on the firm’s Grand Wagoneer SUV strategy.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Fiat Chrysler

The car arrives conventional with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine with 290 horsepower and 257 lb.-ft. of torque. A 5.7-liter V-8 engine rated at 357 horsepower and 390 foot-lbs of torque also will be offered.

The interior of the Grand Cherokee L functions 8.4-inch or 10.1-inch touchscreen displays as effectively as a 10.25-inch frameless digital driver details display screen guiding the steering wheel. It is obtainable in six-seat and 7-seat configurations.

The enterprise also ideas to provide palms-free driving technologies in the auto in late-2021 on 2022 product-calendar year autos.