Jeep targets UK growth as boss admits firm “screwed up twice”

“I think there are many different reasons. The first is that when we launched the Renegade in 2014 it got a pretty good start everywhere in Europe, including in the UK, and then the powertrain that we had got hammered, due to emissions. It got penalised in taxes and things like that. So the product lost a lot of momentum. 

“Then we launched the Jeep Compass, which was built in India, because of the right-hand-drive component, and that wasn’t the right idea because the UK-market customer requirement is close to [that in] Europe: the same kind of requirement in terms of technology, safety and everything, plus powertrain. So it wasn’t appropriate. I think we screwed up twice. 

“Now we’re bringing the Avenger, which is a pure BEV and in the smaller part of the B-segment, and that’s a pretty significant segment in the UK.” 

What does success look like for Jeep in the UK?

“Today we’re at 0.3% of the SUV market there, so we’re roughly non-existent. The good news is that the British are people still in love with the automobile. There’s still a lot of passion about driving, and they don’t buy cars only for transportation. British people enjoy driving. So I think the Jeep brand can resonate in the UK.

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