GLOBE TROTTER: Jeep's new Renegade Trailhawk and Limited versions are headed for SA in 2015. Image: Jeep
• 14 months of continuous growth
• Overall increase of 70% in 2014
• Fastest-growing brand in Europe
• Successful Jeep initiatives
TURIN, Italy - 2014 was a record year for Jeep, claims Chrysler, in terms of sales, initiatives and events supporting the commercial launches of new models in Europe, the Middle East and here in Africa.
Jeep South Africa says the brand showed strong resilience in a difficult market during 2014, ending the year marginally up on the 2013 figures. The range-topping Grand Cherokee finished the year as the best-selling Jeep, allowing it to comfortably maintain its lead in the very competitive market segment, and the new Cherokee achieved the best sales for the model in three years (effectively with only half a year’s worth of sales).
SOCIAL MEDIA GROWTH
Globally, the automaker says proof also lies in the exponential growth of fans on social media sites: official Jeep Facebook channels have reached more than two-million fans with extraordinary year-on-year growth peaks in some countries. In Italy, the number of registered followers has increased by 600%.
Jeep says December 2014 was the 14th consecutive year of year growth in many main Western/Asian countries - among them Russia, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium and Switzerland.
"Jeep's success," says the automaker, "was driven by the performance of the flagship Grand Cherokee which maintained top sales positions through 2014 in Europe where it climbed by three positions from 2013. The Grand Cherokee was the second-best seller in its segment in Switzerland and Poland.
The first new entry to the Jeep family in 2014, the new Cherokee presented at the 2014 Geneva motor show, recorded its highest sales since 2008, allowing Jeep to double its sales in this segment and exceeding monthly registrations of the previous generation on an annual basis.
HEADED FOR SA
Sales of the new SA-bound Renegade - the latest addition to the Jeep family, which marks the brand's entrance in the compact SUV segment - started at the end of September 2014 in Italy and in October in the other main European countries.
The first Jeep Renegades destined for non-European markets, mainly North America, are being shipped in this month (January 2014).
2014 also saw the debut of the Jeep Owners' Group, the only official group managed centrally by the brand. It is already active in nine European countries. The automaker explains that Jog is the "place" where the brand meets its Jeepers, the vehicles' owners and fans of the brand, and is integrated with the existing national clubs.