Fiat Chrysler (NYSE: FCAU) is extending its Jeep Grand Cherokee to include a new three-row model with hopes of increasing the vehicle’s appeal within the SUV market.
The Grand Cherokee L is the fifth generation SUV since its launch 30 years ago. The new model has been in the works for over a decade.
“There is high-demand in a Grand Cherokee three-row. We know we are going to do extremely well,” Christian Meunier, Jeep’s global president, said during a media briefing. “We are going to improve our leadership a lot.”
The company anticipates the new version will be one of the best received Grand Cherokees since the 1992 Detroit Auto Show when Chrysler President Bob Lutz drove one up the steps and through glass with Mayor Coleman Young.
“While the current generation is still deeply loved by our customers, some asked for more space in a segment where 75% of the models offer three rows of seating, and we listened,” according to Christian Meunier, global president of the Jeep brand.
According to Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting for AutoForecast Solutions, the seven seater will help compete against its Detroit Three competitors.
“This bridges the gap between the Grand Cherokee and the full-size sport utilities offered by Ford and General Motors and the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer,” Fiorani said. “This will fill in the space between the Grand Cherokee and the (upcoming Jeep) Wagoneer.”
Jeep is expected to expand its lineup from six vehicles to nine, including the Grand Cherokee L and Wagoneer, by 2022.