Jeep plans to enter the extreme high end of the sport utility vehicle market with its new Grand Wagoneer. It needs to compete with products made by Porsche, BMW and Mercedes to be successful. However, recent carefully followed studies show that Jeep has a quality reputation problem. A new brand flagship probably cannot change that.
The new Grand Wagoneer’s price tops $100,000, with the addition of a number of features included. The SUV will not be available until next year.
Jeep has done poorly in two large quality studies that are carefully followed by car buyers. The first is the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, which looks at problems people have had in the previous 12 months for their three-year-old vehicles. Jeep ranked well below the industry average with 158 problems per 100 vehicles. The industry average was 134. Jeep found itself in the company of low-level brands Dodge and Fiat.
The Consumer Reports Auto Reliability Survey listed Jeep among the least reliable brands. It ranked 26th among the 30 brands measured. The Jeep Wrangler was among the 10 least reliable 2020 models.
Jeeps also do not do well on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) safety tests. That is another problem for its reputation because the study is the most widely followed in the United States for vehicle safety
Many other brands have launched high-end vehicles because they hope that as high sticker prices bring better margins, so brand revenue and profits will be lifted. Most recently, that includes Jaguar and Range Rover. Each of these brands also has a reputation for quality problems. New products have not changed that. There is no reason the same decision by Jeep will yield different results.