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Jeep Boss Says It ‘Probably’ Needs To Reduce Number of Model Trims

The Wagoneer S will come in just one configuration, but the Wrangler offers a smorgasbord of options from trims to engines and tire sizes.
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Spring may be coming to an end soon but that doesn’t mean Jeep will stop cleaning house. Automakers regularly clean up and tighten their portfolios, getting rid of models and trims that don’t sell well to reduce both cost and complexity. According to the brand’s top brass, it may be time to do just that.

Bill Peffer, senior vice president of Jeep, recently told The Drive that the automaker should “probably” start culling unnecessary offerings. This borrows from his own playbook as past Maserati Americas CEO.

“We are a mass market brand. We do sell things in volume—much broader than, say, Maserati was. Complexity reduction is something that happens constantly, and we probably could stand to do a little bit more of it,” Peffer said. “One of the ways that we’re tackling complexity is coming to market with a product like Wagoneer S with one configuration.”

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For reference, the almighty Wrangler comes in the following trims: Sport, Sport S, Willys, Sahara, High Altitude, Rubicon, Rubicon X, and Rubicon 392. Several of those are available in two- and four-door spec, with multiple engines and option groups to pick from. It’s a lot, both from a consumer and a manufacturer perspective.

But simplifying the product lineup isn’t just about profits; it’s also about quality. Stellantis recently decided to launch its own flexible chassis architecture that can support both internal combustion and electric powertrains, streamlining its vehicle manufacturing. That sort of complexity reduction is something Peffer thinks will improve quality.

“So, [that] to me is what’s interesting about complexity reduction. Not only do you have efficiencies that you generate but fewer opportunities to make mistakes,” he said.

Not only is Jeep bringing just one all-electric Wagoneer S configuration to market right now, but it’s also consolidating brand names. That means folding the internal combustion Wagoneer line back into the Jeep brand as well. “They are 100% Jeep since now. So we will label them, badge them as a Jeep,” said Jeep CEO Antonio Filosa.

Jeep can certainly take it further than that, too. Cutting some extra fat (models like the Compass and Renegade) might help reduce some of that complexity Peffer was talking about and make room for its upcoming models, like the electrified Recon and upcoming Cherokee replacement.

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