Two weeks have now passed since much of the United States’ population went into self-quarantine and the world hasn’t quite turned into a Mad Max: Fury Road apocalyptic wasteland. But while the viral outbreak’s impact could see a whopping 30-percent contraction of new car sales by year’s end, new research suggests that people are still apparently looking at new cars, more specifically, they’re looking at Jeeps.
The poll, completed by YouGov BrandIndex, asked potential customers “When you are in the market next to purchase a car or truck, from which of the following would you consider purchasing?” and offered a list of manufacturers to choose from. The responses showed that customers considering a Jeep vehicle rose 2.6-percent in the last 30 days, which amounts to 16-percent of the population considering a Jeep product.
As the infection spreads and Americans continue to hoard toilet paper, flour, beans and rice, and guns, with many believing this is the intro to a real-life The Walking Dead, it’s not exactly rocket science to connect people’s interest in Jeep’s rugged lineup and our current reality. Between the new Wrangler, the Grand Cherokee, and even the diminutive but still capable Renegade, Jeeps are pretty factory-ready for the end of the world.
The Drive’s own Jeep coverage illustrates that further, with Editor-in-Chief Kyle Cheromcha’s review of the new Jeep Gladiator, saying “it’s hands down the off-road king of pickups,” to our first dalliance with the all-new Wrangler in which writer Eric Adams declares, “That’s the beauty of the Jeep Wrangler—it’s not like other cars. Sure, its creators spent time homing in on ideal button placement and speccing out interior materials to generate specific kinds of visual and tactile qualities, but the Wrangler caters to a different kind of buyer overall, and the brand’s devotion to usability and utility feels as much like they’re fulfilling a military contract as providing for consumer needs.”
YouGov posits a similar theory, stating, “It may be too early to tell, but the brand has long positioned itself as a rugged go-anywhere machine, which may be appealing to consumers in uncertain times. Jeep could benefit further as gas prices are expected to slide further as we enter a recession, making SUVs and larger vehicles attractive to the consumer.”
While our own thoughts may have drifted toward ready-for-anything rigs in recent weeks, YouGov’s poll only tallied 426 responses, which is low when looking to trend anything in the United States. To get true countrywide metrics, most statisticians look for sample sizes of at least 1,000, which means YouGov’s 426 is hardly enough to categorically state Americans are looking at Jeep a lot more since the coronavirus outbreak began.
Additionally, Jeep sales have been on fire for the last half-decade, with both Jeep and Ram propping up a flailing Fiat Chrysler. As such, interest in Jeep products has seen steady growth throughout the years and YouGov's data collection could be related to that trend, not one spurred on by the outbreak.
YouGov’s research also doesn’t talk about how the new car market has contracted heavily in recent weeks as companies layoff, furlough, or send employees home to save money and reduce the spread of the outbreak. So while interest in such vehicles may be up, Jeep interest may also be very theoretical, wishful thinking when there is still so much uncertainty, especially when you consider TrueCar’s analysts predicting a whopping 30-percent decline in new car sales by the end of the year.
But what do you all think, is Jeep your go-to brand for when the end comes? Are you still looking for a new car or SUV? Is there a better answer than just any Jeep? Let us know in the comments below.
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