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The alarm bells may not yet be ringing at Jeep, but 2023 isn’t shaping up to be a banner sales year for the automaker. Its lineup of SUVs has been struggling in the first quarter of 2023 with just one model surpassing its sales from the same period of 2022. Though there remains plenty of time for Jeep sales to rebound in 2023, the figures are, figuratively, starting the rest of the year in the basement.

A white 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee drives in front of a mountain range.
2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee | Jeep, Stellantis

The Jeep Cherokee is the only sales success from the brand so far this year

Sales data compiled by GoodCarBadCar for the first quarter of 2023 shows only one Jeep model, the Cherokee, is enjoying an uptick in sales over this time last year. Over 13,000 new Cherokee models have found their way to driveways in the U.S. so far this year, up 31% from the first quarter of 2022.

This could signal a comeback for the model. In 2021, Jeep sold over 89,000 Cherokees before the five-seat SUV took a nosedive with just 40,000 units sold in 2022. Perhaps this shows buyers were previously faced with a choice paradox. The 2022 Cherokee was offered in five trims while the 2023 iteration is only available in two—the Altitude Lux or Trailhawk.

And Jeep is bound to be pleased with any win it can get because outside of the Cherokee, the brand is seeing nothing but red concerning its year-to-date sales.

The subcompact Renegade is the worst offender of the group, with its sales down 59% this quarter over 2022. Just 1,467 models were sold in the first three months of the year. The new Grand Wagoneer isn’t far behind with its YTD sales down 57%. The luxe three-row SUV made a splash with nearly 12,000 units sold in 2022, but under 1,400 have been sold so far this year.

The Wagoneer, Gladiator and Grand Cherokee, Jeep’s biggest seller of the year so far, are also slagging with YTD sales down over 20%. Over 38,000 Wranglers have been sold so far in 2023, but that’s down 17% from last year. Sales for the compact Compass are on about on par with 2023 figures, down just 200 units, or 5%, from 2022 sales numbers.

Jeep’s pricing could also be a contributor to its slump

Jeep is synonymous with all-terrain capability, and some of its models, like the Grand Cherokee, infringe into luxury territory. But potential owners are being asked to pay a premium as a result.

The Cherokee may be the year’s sales success so far for the brand, but its $39,290 base MSRP is about $10,000 more than shoppers are asked to pay for similarly sized two-row SUVs like the Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, or Mazda CX-50. 

Similarly, the Grand Wagoneer commands just under $90,000, and for that money, buyers can opt for a Mercedes-Benz GLS, Cadillac Escalade, or BMW X7. On the other end of the scale, the subcompact Renegade nearly crests the $30,000 mark with destination, several thousand more than leaders in the segment like the Mazda CX-30, Toyota Corolla Cross, Nissan Kicks, and revamped Honda HR-V.

The Wrangler has been a stalwart in Jeep’s lineup, but an alternative in the shape of the Ford Bronco could be eating into the legendary 4X4s cult-like following. Bronco sales are up 38% in the first quarter of 2023 with 32,430 units sold, which is just about 5,500 fewer Wrangler models sold in the same period. The Wrangler’s slide continues its lackluster overall 2022 sales, which were down 11% versus 2021 annual sales. 


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