Jeep CEO, Michael Manley, said the company won’t introduce a high-riding vehicle with car-like styling for now, because such a vehicle doesn’t fit its brand values. “I don’t want my vehicles to be crossovers, I want my vehicles to be competitive against crossovers,” said Manley.
The demand for car-like crossover vehicles has grown considerably in the last few year, but he says that the company will stay true to its design heritage. “Maybe there is a big market for sleek design vehicles, but then you’re kind of bordering onto a CUV or softer UV and one of the things that we’ve tried to do since 2009 is not do that,” he said.
Jeep has two design themes – its more off-road and traditional look. These are evident when you look at the difference between the Wrangler and Renegade, and the ‘sleeker’ look, defined by the Grand Cherokee and Compass. “We’ll just have to continue to keep people interested in our design cues, because they’re important to the brand,” he added.
In markets like China and Europe, crossovers are gaining in popularity and are competing with regular versions of cars for market share. A roadmap of its diesel engine strategy will be revealed at FCA’s June 1 strategy announcement. “Investor day would be the most appropriate time to talk in more detail about diesel,” he said.