Jeep says its new Wagoneer S electric SUV can rival Tesla’s Model Y to charge up sales

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Jeep has high hopes for its first 100% electric SUV in the US. The rugged SUV brand is preparing to reverse slumping sales with new EVs that Jeep believes can compete with the best. Jeep’s CEO, Antonio Filosa, believes the Wagoneer S electric SUV can take market share from Tesla’s best-selling Model Y.

After its sales in the US quadrupled, reaching nearly 1 million in 2018, Jeep has struggled to gain traction.

Jeep sales have been in a downward spiral over the past five years as the brand struggles to find its identity in a rapidly transitioning US market.

Filosa, who took over as Jeep CEO last November, believes the brand can turn things around. “We are building a road map for growth, both in volume and in profitability,” Filosa told Automotive News.

Jeep’s leader says the brand can finally reach 1 million sales in the US and 2 million globally. Filosa said much of the brand’s sales slump is due to a lack of models in important SUV segments.

After failing to update the Cherokee, the brand ended production of the mid-size SUV last year. Jeep also retired its cheapest vehicle, the Renegade, after becoming the brand’s worst-selling model.

Jeep-Tesla-Model-Y
Jeep Recon electric SUV (Source: Stellantis)

After admitting more needed to be done to fend off the competition, Jeep’s CEO slashed prices earlier this year, including up $4,000 off its best-selling Grand Cherokee.

With sales falling below 643,000 last year, Jeep plans to turn things around with its first fully electric vehicles hitting the market.

Can Jeep’s electric SUV keep up with the Tesla Model Y?

“We will have better market coverage starting from the end of the year with the launch of the Wagoneer S and Recon,” Filosa explained.

Jeep is launching its first fully electric vehicles in the US this year as it looks to revamp the brand and turn around falling sales.

Jeep-Wagoneer-S-leaked
Jeep Wagoneer S electric SUV teaser (Source: Jeep)

The first, due to begin production this quarter, is the premium Wagoneer S. Jeep has been teasing the electric SUV leading up to its debut later this year, revealing a new reimagined seven-slot grille and sleek design.

Based on Stellantis’ STLA platform with 600 hp, the electric SUV is “lightning fast” with a 0 to 60 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds.

Filosa believes Jeep can compete with Tesla in the electric SUV segment, attracting customers who “want something more sophisticated.”

Jeep’s new CEO sees the brand’s first EV attracting younger, high-earners like Tesla. “It’s a very iconic product that needs to fight against other competitors that in the US and elsewhere are doing well,” Filosa said.

Jeep's-electric-Wrangler-like-Recon
2024 electric Jeep Recon (Source: Stellantis)

“I’m sincerely very optimistic on the impact it has when you see it in the flesh. We showed it to our Italian dealers, and they were stunned,” he added.

Jeep’s second EV will be the Wrangler-inspired Recon, which is expected to launch by the end of the year.

We’ve already seen what the Recon Moab 4xe looks like after images leaked out of a Las Vegas dealer event.

Jeep's-electric-Wrangler-like-Recon
Jeep Recon Moab 4xe (source: Jeep Recon Forum)

With options like removable doors and windows, Jeep looks to stay true to the brand’s roots. “We have to leverage a huge community of happy Wrangler owners and explain to them that the Recon — even if electric — is consistent with our values and capability.”

Jeep’s previous head of North American operations, Jim Morrison, claimed the Recon has the capability to cross the mighty Rubicon Trail.” More importantly, it can “reach the end of the trail with enough range to drive back to town and recharge.”

According to the recent UAW agreements, Jeep is expected to launch an electric Wrangler in 2028. Around 2027, Jeep plans to launch an electric option for its best-selling Grand Cherokee.

Electrek’s Take

Since Tesla’s Model Y became the best-selling vehicle (gas or EV) in Q1 2023, it’s natural for brands to aim for the EV leader.

Jeep is already behind in the US electric vehicle market, but the brand believes it can turn things around with two new models hitting the market in key segments.

With new electric SUVs like the Chevy Blazer EV, Equinox EV, Honda Prologue, and others hitting the market, Jeep will need to get moving. Meanwhile, Rivian’s all-electric R1S, another Jeep rival, became the fourth best-selling electric vehicle overall in the first three months of the year According to Kelley Blue Book data, the R1S accounted for 2.9% of the US EV market in Q1.

The brand hopes its electric models will resonate with customers as it seeks to revamp sales in the US and globally.

What do you guys think? How will Jeep’s first electric SUVs compare to Tesla? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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