Jeep Is Absolutely Crushing the Auto Industry. What's Behind the SUV Brand's Resurgence?
Chart by author. Information source: FCA monthly sales releases.
So, which vehicles are driving these massive gains, and are these results here to stay?
*2014 is projected from sales through July; 2013 Liberty/Cherokee sales are combined during model transition. Source: FCA sales releases.
As you can see above, three vehicles drive the vast majority of Jeep's sales: the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, and Cherokee. In fact, this year through July, those three vehicles account for nearly 80% of Jeep brand sales in the U.S. market.
With those three vehicles being a critical component for Jeep's success, will sales remain strong? Does it matter?
Jeep's Grand Cherokee had a mid-cycle design refresh in early 2013 and will have another in late 2015, which should keep car buyers hooked on the popular vehicle. The Cherokee launched its all-new design in 2013, replacing the Liberty nameplate, and it will have a mid-cycle refresh in mid-2016; fresh designs sell best, and these updates will easily enable the Cherokee to continue its surge in popularity.
The Wrangler is a slightly different story and won't receive any attention until its all-new design hits the markets in 2017.
Furthermore, FCA has put 2.9 billion euros of investment between manufacturing and product to aid in launching five new Jeep models, eight vehicle refreshes, and 47 limited editions between 2009 and 2014. In addition to that investment, FCA's end goal for Jeep is to reclaim the title of No. 1 SUV brand in the world by the end of the decade.
2015 Jeep renegade. Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The road ahead
Jeep could accomplish its global ambitions by expanding production capacity to enable it to reach distant markets in larger vehicle volumes. Jeep will also fine-tune its sales strategy by replacing its Patriot and Compass models with an all-new SUV in 2016. It will also introduce the Jeep Renegade in North American markets to become the smallest offering in the product lineup, and an all-new Grand Wagoneer will hit the roads in 2018.
Ultimately, the future at Jeep looks bright as FCA continues to pour investments into the brand, aiming for it to become the automaker's future global cornerstone. As Jeep's most important models continue to surge due to America's rekindled love for SUVs, and critical Wrangler and Grand Cherokee redesigns inch nearer, look for Jeep brand sales to continue moving higher.
Both Jeep's current success in the U.S. and its future global potential will be critical factors when investors consider buying shares of FCA during its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange later this year. If Jeep falters, so will Fiat Chrysler -- but that doesn't look likely.
Warren Buffett's worst automotive nightmare
A major technological shift is happening in the automotive industry. Most people are skeptical about its impact. Warren Buffett isn't one of them. He recently called it a "real threat" to one of his favorite businesses. An executive at Ford called the technology "fantastic." The beauty for investors is that there is an easy way to ride this mega-trend. Click here to access our exclusive report on this stock.
The article Jeep Is Absolutely Crushing the Auto Industry. What's Behind the SUV Brand's Resurgence? originally appeared on Fool.com.
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .
Copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.