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No Jeep Grand Wagoneer for Australia

Grand off: Jeep has confirmed the Grand Wagoneer (left) won’t be coming to Australia, but we will get the new three-row Grand Cherokee (below).

Global Jeep boss Christian Meunier rules out the brand’s biggest SUV for local intro

22 Jan 2021

JEEP has officially confirmed the Grand Cherokee will be the biggest vehicle the brand offers Down Under when it arrives later in the year, with global president Christian Meunier confirming to local media last week the eight-seat Grand Wagoneer would not be coming to Australia.


Describing the new Grand Cherokee as already being a “pretty substantial, pretty big” vehicle, Mr Meunier said the three-row version in particular will cater to at least some of the market the Grand Wagoneer would have occupied.


“For now it’s off the table and I think we will focus on the three-row Grand Cherokee,” he said.


“It’s all about performance, it’s all about business cases … but I’d love to do it and I’m sure it could do very well in Australia, but let’s focus on what really matters for the market for now.”


First teased in August last year before being revealed on September 3 in final concept form, the Grand Wagoneer will be a full-sized SUV designed to take on established high-riding luxury players like the Lexus LX, Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz GLS while simultaneously poaching sales away from other American rigs including the Cadillac Escalade and Chevrolet Suburban.


Now however following the confirmation that the Grand Cherokee will remain the brand’s flagship model Down under, Mr Meunier said a good deal of the development work was being carried out in Australia to ensure it was as competent as possible.


“We’re doing it … and that will make all the difference in the world,” he said.


“We’re going to test your roads, we’re going to test your dirt roads, going to test the towing capacity because we know it’s important in your market, we’re going to see how it behaves and obviously that’s important with your own fuel; with everything that comes with Australia and we’re going to tweak it, we’re going to make it better, we’re going to make it perfect.


“We’re very determined to do that.”


As previously reported by GoAuto, the fifth-generation Grand Cherokee will arrive Down Under late this year powered by the familiar line-up of petrol engines (3.6L V6/5.7L Hemi V8) before at least one 4xe plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant arrives early in 2022, replacing the soon-to-be-defunct diesel option.


By adding a third row of seating to the equation, Jeep has instantly made the new Grand Cherokee a more viable alternative to the Toyota Prado as well as the growing array of seven-seat ute-based off-roaders like the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and Ford Everest.


Jeep Australia sold 2870 Grand Cherokees last year, accounting for 3.1 per cent of the sub-$70,000 large SUV segment, placing it a long way off the sales pace of the segment-leading Prado which chalked up 18,034 sales.

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