Military-inspired brand Jeep has been making some of the most functional, fun, and capable vehicles in America for years. Offering something that no other brand does, Jeep focuses on making SUVs and crossovers that allow owners to “go anywhere.” And when Jeep debuted its newest creation, which embodied both SUV and pickup truck capabilities, the world waited on pins and needles. But are the Jeep Gladiator’s sales numbers living up to the hype?
Jeep Gladiator sales numbers: are they living up to expectations?
Anticipation for the new Jeep Gladiator was tremendous after its first debut. And when it hit dealerships in Q2 of 2019, Jeep expected the Gladiator to be one of its best-selling vehicles. But the brand may have put more faith in the Gladiator than it should have as it became one of the worst-selling vehicles in its segment in 2019.
According to the sales data on Good Car Bad Car, the first few months after the 2020 Jeep Gladiator’s debut seemed to indicate future success, with dealers selling 2,584 Gladiators in May 2019 and 4,231 in June. Though these numbers are seemingly OK for a recently-debuted vehicle, only 40,038 models of the 2020 Gladiator were sold throughout the entire year. Trying to make its way into the pickup segment, the Gladiator didn’t come close to competing with its rivals. Nearly 900,000 Ford F-Series trucks sold in 2019, while even the less-popular Toyota Tundra sold more than 110,000 units.
Most of the world can allow an exception for the Jeep Gladiator as a recently-entered competitor to the pickup market. But according to PR Newswire, the Gladiator was also the worst-selling Jeep vehicle of 2019. The only model which sold fewer units in 2019 is the Patriot, which was discontinued in 2017 (and therefore only selling what’s left behind).
The Jeep Cherokee was sold nearly 240,000 times in 2019, while the popular Wrangler sold nearly 230,000 units. It appears the Gladiator pickup has a long way to go to match its best-selling siblings.
Steep discounts hint at troubled times for the Gladiator
According to AutoBlog, the Jeep Gladiator has fallen a long way. Where dealers were once tacking on numbers to its price tag in anticipation of its popularity, low sales numbers are now bringing about deep discounts to the Jeep Gladiator. While each month’s numbers remained steady for the Gladiator, it still falls to the bottom of the pickup segment in sales.
That means that dealers are trying hard to move inventory and help the Gladiator gain traction. The Jeep brand and its licensed dealers are currently offering discounts “by thousands of dollars, even as much as $9,000” on new Gladiators.
Why aren’t people buying the Jeep Gladiator?
If the Jeep Gladiator was met with such anticipation, why the flat sales numbers? Though the Gladiator earns good ratings and has received rave reviews, it is faced with massive competition in the pickup segment. Competing with other trucks like the Chevrolet Colorado and Ford Ranger, which have lower starting prices and seemingly higher owner loyalty, the Gladiator simply falls behind.
In fact, according to CarBuzz, the average Jeep Gladiator was “selling for nearly $60,000.” This price tag is much closer to the full-size, truck giant rivals like the F-Series and Silverado.
But the Jeep Gladiator doesn’t just have competition in the pickup segment. It’s also competing with its sibling, the Wrangler, which offers owners most of what the Gladiator has but without the truck bed. Jeep set this unique model apart from other pickups with its off-roading capabilities, but only pushed it closer to rivaling its own top-selling off-roader. Combine its high price tag with extremely strong competition, and the Jeep Gladiator may just have to work a little harder to become a best-seller.