Opinion

‘How Jeep could finally fulfil its potential in the UK‘

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler thinks promising times are ahead for Jeep after speaking to the brand's global boss Mike Manley

Opinion - Jeep

With UK buyers (like those around the world) seemingly obsessed with SUVs, you’d think that Jeep would be making hay over here right now. But year-to-date sales figures down 50 per cent look worrying out of kilter with the rest of the market, especially given the strength of the Jeep brand and a line-up that’s comprised solely of SUVs.

I met up with Jeep’s global boss and Auto Express Hall of Fame member Mike Manley (above), and he gave us his thoughts on why Jeep has been underperforming in the UK, as well as how he hopes the brand can hit new highs over here.

Best car dealers 2017

“Our historic product portfolio in the UK has not been as competitive as it needs to be,” Manley admitted. “We were not competitive enough for us to grow significantly, so we stagnated while the market grew and moved on.

“In 2009, the tech we had was so far behind the game – we still had a four-speed automatic transmission back then. Our engine technology, our in-car entertainment tech; we’ve had to run very fast to catch up. Once we began with our nine-speed transmissions, our UConnect systems, improving our interiors dramatically – once we got through that phase, we stabilised rapidly. Now we’ve just got to continue to push that envelope.”

Best 4x4s and SUVs on sale

Our experience of the latest product shows that Jeep is now competitive and improving, while the new Compass mid-size SUV can’t come soon enough.

Manley also spoke highly of his UK dealers: “We’ve got a great dealer body who’ve stuck with us. We’re hoping now to build some really good times.”

Customers agree, with Jeep dealers in a superb third place in this year’s Driver Power dealer survey. With plenty of new cars coming, too, it bodes well for a Jeep resurgence in the UK.

Would you like to see Jee make an bigger imact in the UK? Let us know in the comments section below...

Recommended

Jeep marks 80th birthday with special Renegade and Wrangler
Jeep 80th Anniversary
News

Jeep marks 80th birthday with special Renegade and Wrangler

Jeep’s latest special edition models feature unique styling touches and plenty of standard equipment
29 Jan 2021
New 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer launched
Jeep

New 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer launched

Revived Jeep Grand Wagoneer supersized luxury SUV will rival BMW X7 and the Range Rover
3 Sep 2020
New 2020 Jeep Renegade 4xe plugs in with up to 134mpg
Jeep

New 2020 Jeep Renegade 4xe plugs in with up to 134mpg

The new plug-in hybrid Jeep Renegade keeps off-road prowess and adds battery power to enable 134mpg and 50g/km CO2
20 Jul 2020
Inside Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Inside FCA

Inside Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

FCA is on the rise, and we’ve checked in with Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep and Abarth for an exclusive look at what the future holds for the company.
6 May 2020

Most Popular

Euro 7 standards: EU considers lifetime surveillance of every new car
UK Motorway
News

Euro 7 standards: EU considers lifetime surveillance of every new car

Cars could feed data to the EU every second they are being driven; rules could also force hybrids into EV mode, while MoT test results could be affect…
5 Mar 2021
UK-based Arrival reveals electric panel van with modular battery system
Arrival electric van
News

UK-based Arrival reveals electric panel van with modular battery system

Arrival’s electric van will hit UK roads this summer, with a modular battery pack and maximum payload of almost two tonnes
5 Mar 2021
Volkswagen lays out new plans for electrified future
VW ID
News

Volkswagen lays out new plans for electrified future

Volkswagen has revealed plans for its current lineup along with its range of ID-branded electric cars
5 Mar 2021