Here’s Why Jeep Is Dropping Its Name From the Wagoneer
Call it many things, just not a "Jeep."
It may sound strange to build a truck that looks like a Jeep, is made by Jeep, and sold in Jeep dealerships, but it's not actually called a Jeep—yet that's exactly what's going on with the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Look closely at the new ride, and there isn't a Jeep badge to found—not inside, not outside, not anywhere.
For reasons we'll explain, Jeep has decided to keep its name—an extremely strong brand in its own right—off of the new trucks' sheet metal. It's not because... uhh... they forgot; it's to do with marketing and branding.
And when we say it's to do with marketing and branding, what we really mean is that Stellantis doesn't feel that the Jeep name is becoming of a luxury vehicle. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are set to be the most expensive... uhhh... Jeep-looking cars not technically called Jeeps but sold by Jeep dealerships and made in Jeep factories... in history. Confused? Where's that one statement Jeep CEO at Stellantis, Christian Meunier, gave us? Ah, yes.
"The root of Jeep isn’t hidden but we believe there is a need to position it further with the more high-end Wagoneer. At the same time, it’s a combination of values that is a little different; it’s also adding tech, sophistication, and is an evolution from Jeep," said Meunier.
See? Makes total sense. Jeep doesn't really consider itself a premium brand, but Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer? Now those are at the top of the pile. Even though the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk starts at nearly $90,000.
Back when FCA was still a thing—actually only like a few weeks ago—it did something similar with the Dodge Viper, creating the "SRT" brand because, apparently, selling a six-figure, 640-horsepower sports car with a storied history wasn't good for the Dodge brand. That time, Chrysler realized its silliness and reverted it back to a Dodge a few years later. Perhaps Stellantis will do the same this time.
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The Drive's Kristin Shaw also contributed to this report.