Jeep sales are up in the U.S. by some 44 percent, but they’re even more so in Europe and the UK, even as overall vehicle registrations there have declined for 2011 versus 2010. In fact, “up” is an understatement with an increase of 61.8 percent.
The increase—for the 27 member states of the European Union plus the four European Free Trade Association—ranged from 18 percent in the UK to 124 percent in Germany. Part of the growth can be attributed to the “effect of small numbers”—it takes a smaller absolute gain to make a large percentage change than it does with a large base number—and the sales are spread over a large geographic area, so seeing a Jeep in most areas will still be a rare occurrence.
European sales increased for all Jeep models, but particularly for the redesigned Compass, although sales of the Grand Cherokee were boosted by the used of the new 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 engine built by VM Motori, an affiliate of Fiat. Ninety percent of Grand Cherokees sold in Europe—all made in Detroit—are diesel-powered. (A diesel-powered Grand Cherokee will be available in the U.S. in the 2013 model year).
|Jeep Sales in Europe, 2011 vs 2012|
“The increase in Jeep sales in Europe is evidence that Chrysler Group’s integration with the Fiat Group is clearly working,” said Mike Manley, president and CEO of Chrysler Group’s Jeep Brand. “Much of the Jeep brand’s success in Europe can be attributed to a strengthened dealer network, as well as a rollout of new Jeep models for the European market – including the incorporation of Fiat’s fuel- and emissions-saving MultiJet II technology on the new 3.0-liter CRD engine that powers the Grand Cherokee.”
All Jeep models are sold outside North America—in approximately 120 countries around the world –in left-hand and right-hand drive versions and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options.
While the “book-end” Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee models will always be made in the U.S., according to Sergio Marchionne, but Jeep’s C/D models — Compass, Liberty, Patriot — and the future B-segment model could be assembled at Fiat plants in Europe and shipped to the rest of the world, including the U.S., due to a lack of manufacturing capacity in North America.