Jeep saw its sales surge 55 percent in Japan to 1,868 vehicles in the first three months of 2014, boosting its spot as the best-selling American brand in the country. The brand is on pace to top 8,000 in sales for full year 2014 and 10,000 in 2015, according to Chrysler Group's local operation. Chrysler expects further boost this month when it launches the redesigned Cherokee in Japan, to be followed by the Renegade in 2015.
Although Jeep’s figures seem small, it means already a lot in Japan, where foreign brands only account for around 5 percent of the auto market. As for Jeep, it was able to sell more than other US brands that offer small cars and hybrids like Ford and Chevrolet.
Pontus Haggstrom, chief executive of Fiat Chrysler Japan, remarked that Jeep’s positioning is very clear -- "we do only SUVs and we do them well." Jeep’s feat in Japan underlines one of the aftermath of the partnership and future merger between Chrysler and Fiat.
For instance, thanks partly to Fiat’s help, Jeep will be able to produce once again in China through its joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Likewise, the dealership network for Chrysler and Jeep expanded in Japan when Fiat’s dealers picked up their franchises.
Jeep’s network in Japan now has 63 dealerships, compared with 50 around 18 months ago. Jeep is aiming to have 90 dealerships within two years. Jeep overtook Ford as the best-selling American brand in Japan in 2012.
Ford and Chevrolet sold 1,506 and 328 units, respectively. Jeep is also set to overtake Fiat as Fiat-Chrysler’s top-selling brand in Japan, where it also offers Alfa Romeo, Chrysler and Abarth.
There is a new leader in the mid-sized sport-utility vehicle (SUV) group: the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The celebrated Cherokee name comes back to the Jeep vehicle line-up for 2014’s model year. The outcome - the new 2014 Cherokee - completely reinvents the mid-sized SUV range, supplying renowned Jeep 4x4 ability, a group-first 9-speed automatic transmission, fuel efficiency improved by over 45 percent (compared to the outgoing Liberty model), exclusive road ride and control, a contemporary, innovative design, outstanding craft, class-select tech, and over 70 cutting-edge safety features. The Cherokee is a pleasure to drive both on the road and off it.
New 2014 Cherokee will be the standard for mid-sized SUVs with a higher level of road drive abilities and fuel efficiency and, at the same time, augmenting the 4x4 ability that everyone expects from Jeep. Jeep Cherokee features an all-new design, a 9-speed automatic transmission, and two modern engines, first-in-class ability from three inventive 4x4 systems, over 70 security features, and a range of new tech features.
Jeep 4x4 ability
The new 2014 Cherokee offers three inventive 4x4 systems for class-leading 4x4 ability in every weather condition. The Cherokee is the first mid-sized SUV to come with rear-axle disconnect, reducing loss of energy when 4x4 ability is not in use, improving fuel economy. The rear-axle disconnect switches effortlessly between two- and four-wheel drive for complete torque management with no required driver input.