Fiat&#x27s Baby Jeep Approach Pays Off

A minor winter weather did nothing at all to quit Jeep last month.

The rugged SUV brand is quickly getting to be the crown jewel of Fiat (FIATY) just a number of months right after it maneuvered for total handle of Chrysler. The business stated Tuesday that it sold 15,940 Grand Cherokees in the U.S. final month, 26 % more than in the yr-earlier period. Potentially much more amazing, the company sold virtually as several Cherokee versions, a stripped-down mini edition of the Grand first rolled out in October.

The Cherokee replaced the Liberty in Jeep’s lineup. It is a good little bundle, but the branding individuals deserve a bonus just as much as the engineers. They made confident the automobile was a clear decision for buyers who pined for the Grand Cherokee and did not need—or couldn’t afford—something so substantial. The Liberty, by contrast, seemed like a patriotic one particular-off without a clear connection to the more substantial model.

The benefits are immediately obvious in the information released Tueday. Fiat offered 36,096 baby Cherokees in the initial quarter, a vast improvement in excess of the 4,972 Liberty models in the exact same time period final 12 months.

Soon it will double down with the Jeep Renegade, an even smaller sized, more affordable alternative that Fiat pulled the cover off of in Geneva final month. It assists that consumers are clamoring for little SUVs at the minute. In the very first 2 months of the 12 months, compact crossovers accounted for 11.6 percent of all U.S. cars offered, up from 9.6 % a yr earlier.

Ford’s Escape dominates the room, but income of that model slid slightly final month. Nissan’s Rogue, nevertheless, came on powerful with sales of 19,420 automobiles, 26 % more than the yr-earlier time period.

What’s intriguing about the Rogue—besides its long list of accolades—is that Nissan (NSANY) is now cranking them out of its plant just outdoors of Nashville, Tenn.

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