Diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee in the United States would have to first nearly double its sales before the brand would consider a domestic diesel-powered version of the smaller Jeep Cherokee, according to Jeep brand chief Mike Manley. Manley disclosed that diesel versions account for around 8 percent of Grand Cherokee sales in the US.
The brand started selling in 2013 a Grand Cherokee powered by the VM Motori 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel engine. While the diesel version is offered at a $4,500 premium, it offers up to 30 mpg highway.
Manley remarked that there would be a continued increase in market acceptance for the diesel Grand Cherokees. He said that the current share of the diesel version at 8 percent will continue to grow over time.
Ram also commenced began selling 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel versions of its Ram 1500 light-duty pickup in March, and have been popular. Manley remarked that so far, Ram is not yet pressuring Jeep to give up diesels intended for the Grand Cherokee for use in Ram pickups.
He remarked introducing a diesel-powered Cherokee – now on sale in Europe, to the US is more complicated than a decision to test the diesel waters with Grand Cherokee. The Cherokee being sold in Europe is powered by a 2.8-liter inline-four diesel.
Manley said that the Cherokee is slightly different due to its weight and size. He said that Grand Cherokee diesel should post a mid-double digit sales surge and account for over 8 percent of the total nameplate sales before they could consider the Cherokee in the US.
Diesel units are becoming more popular with Jeep fans due to their high torque at low rpms.