Jeep’s success is largely down to the Renegade and, the new Compass, a Nissan Qashqai rival. Fewer than 20,000 of Jeep’s sales were taken by the big Grand Cherokee, the Wrangler and the barely registering Cherokee. Land Rover may have problems, but it sold 25,097 Range Rover Sports alone in Europe and slightly more of the almost-as-expensive Velar.
Jeep is highly dependent on Italy, just as Land Rover is highly dependent on UK sales. Half of all European Jeeps were sold in Italy last year, while the UK took half of all Land Rover’s European sales. Frankly, we’re just not that into Jeep: only 4% of all Jeeps sold in Europe came to the UK last year.
Jeep might lose out to Land Rover this year after the launch of the new Range Rover Evoque, traditionally the brand’s biggest seller. “The sustainability of Jeep’s growth depends on how fast the company brings more models,” said Felipe Munoz, global analyst for JATO. “The Compass will not be able to drive the growth by itself.”
Jeep is planning big growth in areas where Land Rover plays, however. The new Wrangler has beaten the new Defender to market, and a long-promised large seven-seater Jeep arrives next year. Last year Jeep also announced a smaller ‘low’ seven-seater targeting the Discovery Sport.
Electrification is a key area, too, with both brands working to comply with tough new CO2 targets. The go-anywhere brand identification starts to fall apart when you’re tied to a plug, something Land Rover highlighted with its April Fool’s press release of the UK’s most remote charging point.
Even so, Jeep is promising four pure EVs by 2022, but not for Europe. Both brands are pushing plug-in hybrids, with Jeep promising eight for Europe by 2022, starting with the Renegade and Compass next year, while Land Rover is extending its PHEV reach to include the Evoque next year.