FCA Projects 2019 JL Sales Down from 2018

MrJeepNut

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Retooling for the 2020 Plug In Hybrid...ugh, just kick me...
 

SecondTJ

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, I thought of you when I saw this article. It contains the first official admission I have seen from FCA that last year's Wrangler sales records were boosted by the JK.
I'm surprised it took them this long to admit it. You can only pretend JL sales are "setting records" for so long.
 

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https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/07/fiat-chrysler-shares-plummet-12-percent-on-weak-outlook.html

@WXman, I thought of you when I saw this article. It contains the first official admission I have seen from FCA that last year's Wrangler sales records were boosted by the JK.
Unfortunately it's a double edged sword, because if the insane pricing on JL/JT brings sales numbers down (which I've always expected that it will) then what that will result in is larger rebates on Wranglers; something we've never seen before. And when that happens, the amazing resale value that used Wranglers have always enjoyed will also take a dive which will screw people who are in leases or who are in the early years of a buy.

See.... one way or the other greed always comes back to bite. FCA should have keep pricing fair and in line with the midsize segment for the benefit of everyone involved.
 
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MrJeepNut

MrJeepNut

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I too have my doubts about the PHEV Wrangler, but for different reasons. I don't think most EV buyers are doing it for the environment, they're doing it because EVs are a kick in the pants to drive (OK, not all of them, but many), they do actually reduce fuel costs significantly for most people, and refueling at your house on a daily basis instead of stopping for gas is really convenient. It's like having your own gas station without all the danger and the stink.

That said, I don't think the Wrangler is a good choice for a PHEV, because a) it's a brick, and EV range will be limited, b) off-roading will beat the crap out of the EV components and break them, and c) a heavy EV battery is going to hamper off-road performance.
 
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MrJeepNut

MrJeepNut

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Unfortunately it's a double edged sword, because if the insane pricing on JL/JT brings sales numbers down (which I've always expected that it will) then what that will result in is larger rebates on Wranglers; something we've never seen before. And when that happens, the amazing resale value that used Wranglers have always enjoyed will also take a dive which will screw people who are in leases or who are in the early years of a buy.

See.... one way or the other greed always comes back to bite. FCA should have keep pricing fair and in line with the midsize segment for the benefit of everyone involved.
Agreed... if I were them, I'd just lower the prices on the Sport models as much as practical and watch the sales figures jump. That's the closest approximation they have now to last year's JK-inflated windfalls.
 

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I would back off the doomsday prognastications here. There are several factors at play here.
1. First of all, there is a natural spike in first-year demand for any vehicle, especially vehicles which such strong followings as a Wrangler. There were many customers who had been in the market for a Jeep for a couple years, but were holding off until the new model was introduced so they could have the latest and greatest. Those people all bought 2018s, so of course there's not a line of people waiting to buy '19s like there was a year ago.
2. Jeep has shown a creative way to affect the average price utilizing special editions. It doesn't surprise me that the first JL SE was a premium trim (hell, I bought one). But notice they can also do this at the opposite end of the spectrum if they find demand waning due to price point. The JK Willy SE was enormously popular, and basically just a stylized Sport. They can introduce more affordable SE's, including potentially even one at a price point below the Sport. This allows them to meet customers' willingness to pay without discounting the already-introduced editions like Sahara's or Rubicon's.
3. The engine availability is also impacting purchasing criteria, and there are likely owners delaying purchases until it is released next year. There is a huge demand for electric vehicles in the US right now. Does that mean it's the right choice for every consumer? Of course not. But let's remember that one of the awesome things about Wranglers is that its the most configurable and customized vehicle on the road. It isn't designed to be a one-size-fits-all vehicle. I love the rumble of my Pentastar V6 and am willing to spend the GDP of a small African country on gasoline annually. But if someone else wants the acceleration and fuel economy of a electric Wrangler, nothing wrong with that. My Jeep doesn't need to be right for them, and their Jeep doesn't need to be right for me.
 

SecondTJ

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I would back off the doomsday prognastications here. There are several factors at play here.
1. First of all, there is a natural spike in first-year demand for any vehicle, especially vehicles which such strong followings as a Wrangler. There were many customers who had been in the market for a Jeep for a couple years, but were holding off until the new model was introduced so they could have the latest and greatest. Those people all bought 2018s, so of course there's not a line of people waiting to buy '19s like there was a year ago.
Except there was no "first year spike" for JL demand. It's initial sales were poor relative to JK.

FCA reported 240,000 Wrangler sales last year. They built 99,000 JK's for 2018.

That means JL sales were comparable to JK sales of 150k/yr from 2012-13, and not 2014-17 when they were selling almost 200k/yr.

FCA dropped the ball with the JL price hike. They were able to hide behind JK sales for 2018, but 2019 will be all JL. They've also tripled JL fleet sales to try and keep the sales numbers "up"
 
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MrJeepNut

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I would back off the doomsday prognastications here. There are several factors at play here.
I don't know if this is directed at me or not, but I didn't mean to imply doomsday-- I just think FCA has been drinking a bit too much celebratory champagne from last year's sales records and setting their prices too high as a result. The relatively low prices of the JK last year helped vault them to all-time records, but now they no longer have that, and they're going to feel the hangover, and they know it. It's more of a missed opportunity than anything, and the market will set them straight on prices over time, and they will be OK as long as they don't do anything foolish, like not getting into EVs at all.
The engine availability is also impacting purchasing criteria, and there are likely owners delaying purchases until it is released next year. There is a huge demand for electric vehicles in the US right now. Does that mean it's the right choice for every consumer? Of course not. But let's remember that one of the awesome things about Wranglers is that its the most configurable and customized vehicle on the road. It isn't designed to be a one-size-fits-all vehicle. I love the rumble of my Pentastar V6 and am willing to spend the GDP of a small African country on gasoline annually. But if someone else wants the acceleration and fuel economy of a electric Wrangler, nothing wrong with that. My Jeep doesn't need to be right for them, and their Jeep doesn't need to be right for me.
Eh, I'm not really buying into the notion that the PHEV is going to be a big sales driver, at least not unless it turns out a whole let better than I think it's going to. I was really excited about it at first, but now, having owned a PHEV myself for awhile (a Volt), I'm not as convinced that it's going to be a good thing for a Wrangler. There is lots of complexity and lots of things to break, and Wranglers break down enough already. There's lots of weight, and Wranglers are heavy enough already. I do think there is huge potential for a pure-EV Wrangler once the technology reaches a point where that can be supported, but we're not there yet, and I believe the PHEV probably won't be a good enough substitute.
 
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MrJeepNut

MrJeepNut

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FCA reported 240,000 Wrangler sales last year. They built 99,000 JK's for 2018.
Where did you get that JK number? I've been wanting that for ages... :)
 
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