Jeep Plans To Simplify Its Lineup Because It Thinks It Will Help Quality

2024 Jeep Wrangler Willys

Image: Jeep

Jeep has been on a roller coaster ride the last few years. Sales have suffered, dealers are sitting on inventory they’re heavily discounting to move, quality has suffered and worse yet, their vehicles have become too expensive for many would-be buyers — something the company acknowledges even though it just released a $70,000 EV. Jeep is also unusual in the myriad number of options, trims and colors it offers customers. That may soon come to an end if one of Jeep’s executives gets their way.

Speaking to The Drive, Jeep’s senior vice president Bill Peffer explained how the brand should probably start paring down the number of trims on some of its models, mainly the Wrangler and Gladiator. And he may have a point. The Wrangler probably has one of the most extensive catalogs on the market: two or four door configurations with hardtop or convertible options, three engines and eight trims spanning pricing of $36,595-$100,590. That doesn’t include the Wrangler 4xe.

Peffer explained the brand’s reasoning using the recently introduced Wagoneer S as an example.

We are a mass market brand. We do sell things in volume—much broader than, say, Maserati was. Complexity reduction is something that happens constantly, and we probably could stand to do a little bit more of it. One of the ways that we’re tackling complexity is coming to market with a product like Wagoneer S with one configuration.

Cutting down trims isn’t just about reducing the number of trims and making it easier for customers. Peffer says it’s also about quality control. All those different trims add complexity in manufacturing. And with Jeep’s recent reliability issues, they can’t afford the hiccups. “So, [that] to me is what’s interesting about complexity reduction. Not only do you have efficiencies that you generate but fewer opportunities to make mistakes,” he explained.

If this combination of getting quality under control, lower prices and less model complexity works out, customers may start showing up to Jeeps dealers again.

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