Fiat Chrysler Automobiles revealed a new vehicle in China at the Beijing Auto Show called the Jeep Grand Commander. With Jeep’s lack of a three-row machine in the U.S., it could make sense for the brand to bring the model across the Pacific.
The Jeep Grand Commander will be sold specifically in China. This is the first three-row for the brand since the Jeep Commander that ended production in 2010. Despite the third row of seating, the Grand Commander is only two inches longer than the Grand Cherokee.
As Autoblog points out, the fact that the Grand Commander is only slightly shorter is interesting because the Grand Cherokee is only a two-row, five-seat vehicle instead of a three-row, seven-seat SUV.
Three-Row SUVs are Important in America
Most other automakers have at least one three-row SUV in their lineup, including Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, GMC, Volvo, Subaru, Maza, and others.
According to The Detroit News, automakers are producing more SUVs than ever to meet growing demand for the vehicle type. The publication notes that by 2020 SUVs could account for 45 percent of the market. While there are new vehicles at every sub-segment of the crossover and SUV market, three-row SUVs are an important part of the SUV segment.
Subaru recently showed off its new Ascent, which is its first three-row SUV ever. Ford has new Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. Other automakers, like Buick and Infiniti, have shown off new large crossover and SUV models, too.
Jeep Lacks a Three-Row SUV in America
It would make sense for Jeep to bring the Grand Commander to the U.S. because it only sells SUVs and crossovers. A competent three-row SUV is missing from its lineup, and it’s a pretty big hole.
Automobile magazine notes that Jeep is likely to produce both a Wagoneer and a Grand Wagoneer for the U.S. market by 2020 instead of bringing the Grand Commander to the U.S.
That said, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be body-on-frame SUVs, according to Automotive News. This would mean that there’s still room in its American lineup for a unibody three-row SUV like the Grand Commander.
With all the other unibody three-row SUVs and crossovers on the road, Jeep should bring the Grand Commander to America so it doesn’t miss out on sales.