Recon and Wagoneer S, Avenger may follow

“We have the (electric) Recon and the Wagoneer S, which are secured for Australia.”

Snapshot

  • Recon and Wagoneer S confirmed, Avenger TBC
  • Grand Cherokee 4xe a suitable replacement for V8 power
  • Petrol and diesel will soon be ready, says Meunier

Jeep has outlined its electric vision for the Australian market with not one, but two battery-powered models coming Down Under – and a third ready to join them.

The trio of seven-seat EVs will roll out globally in the coming years and while exact Australian arrival times are yet to be confirmed, it is confirmed that the Recon and Wagoneer S will lead Jeep’s local electric charge.

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The new electric Jeep Recon is coming to Australia

Speaking at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Jeep Brand CEO Christian Meunier said a pair of electric vehicles will form a key part of Jeep’s reformation in Australia.

“We have the Recon and the Wagoneer S, which are secured for Australia,” he said.

“Australia was way behind two or three years ago and there wasn’t even talk of electrification, but I kept questioning and questioning – and looking at what was happening in the meantime. New Zealand is going 100 per cent full speed, and Australia is catching up, and it will get there.”

The arrival of electrified Jeeps aligns with the “promise” component of Jeep Australia chief executive Kevin Flynn’s three-pronged strategy, which he says will grow local market share to 4.0 per cent by earning back customer confidence and the introduction of compelling new models.

“Now we’re going into ‘promise’. We’ve got all the things we said we’d change, packaged – and you can count on that,” he said in March.

So far, a plug-in hybrid Jeep has been the only electrified model rumored for the Australian market, but Meunier’s confirmation means local dealers will have serious zero-emissions options to compete with the growing EVs from rival brands.

2024 Jeep Avenger Electric SUV 03

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The electric Jeep Avenger is yet to be confirmed for Australia

As for who does Jeep consider a direct rival?

Meunier offered some insight here as well, explaining that the company was done with its strategy of luring customers in with bargain basement price tags, instead choosing to compete with more premium offerings.

“One of the reasons Australia struggled was they chased the volume and didn’t achieve it. They pushed the metal but weren’t brand focused and the dealers weren’t making money.

“We’ve stopped all these entry-level versions, we’ve enriched the portfolio, we’ve made it more premium. We’re not going after the Koreans or the Chinese – we’re not selling transport, we’re selling adventure, we’re selling lifestyle.”

With the Wagoneer S imminent for the line-up, Jeep’s Australian range will increase a coupé-profiled large SUV with 447kW to do battle with the likes of the Mercedes EQE and EQS SUVs and the Tesla Model X, for example.

While its smaller midsize Recon will represent a more lifestyle-focused Jeep offering with folding roof and removable door features and Wrangler-like proportions.

Details on both models are in place at this stage but both models are expected to launch globally in 2024, with an Australian arrival date and more details expected to be announced soon after.

2024 Jeep Wagoneer S Electric SUV 01

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The electric Jeep Wagoneer S

Not yet confirmed is the Avenger small electric SUV, which would complete Jeep’s electric holy trinity. And while Meunier said the third model would be built in RHD, it remains a “maybe” for Australia at the time of asking.

“The Avenger will go to the UK and Japan, and we may be looking at Australia if there is a market for it. The future models for the vast majority of the product will also be right-hand drive.”

That said, a 4Xe electric version of the Gladiator is yet to be confirmed for right-hand drive production, and therefore unlikely for Australia at present.

With relatively meager RHD pickings for the world’s manufacturers, many brands are pushing markets such as the UK, Japan and Australia to the bottom of the production heap, but Meunier said that’s not how Jeep sees those markets – drawing on Opel’s success (in Europe). ) since he was brought into the group in 2019.

“GM had struggled for so many years with Opel in Europe, and Opel is now part of Stellantis and very profitable,” he said. “So I think there are many things you can do differently. You can be profitable with RHD as long as you bring the right product with the right powertrains in the right segment.”

Jeep Grand Cherokee 4Xe EV

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Meunier says the Grand Cherokee 4xe is everything any V8-loving driver should want

As Jeep prepares the ground for an electric onslaught around the world and Australia, Meunier said thirsty V8s and torquey diesels would “disappear” as part of the transition, with many of their virtues satisfied by electrics.

“Diesel will disappear because it will die in Europe and because a lot of volume came from Europe and the European manufacturers are really, really marketing diesel. Diesel will disappear – it’s a matter of time.

“The V8 is not the future either. I drive a Grand Cherokee 4Xe right now and this thing runs like a V8 or better”.

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