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Jeep’s incredible popularity is one thing Renault could really use

Jeep is, without a doubt, one of the strongest and most recognized car brands in the world. The fact that Jeep has survived four different corporate owners since its birth on the battlefields of World War II refers to that. At the same time, Jeep vehicles are still widely available. That is a rare combination. In general, if you want a vehicle with a strong brand identity, you will pay a lot for it. You're looking at a Ferrari, a Rolls-Royce or, at least, a Land Rover.

"The brand itself is so strong that the desire of consumers has, in many cases, exceeded its reputation for quality," said Jeff Schuster, industry badyst at LMC Automotive.

In the most recent Consumer Reports vehicle reliability survey, Jeep vehicles were well below average, a place that the brand usually occupies. That would be terrible for most vehicle brands, but Jeep's overall market share has almost tripled since 2010, according to LMC Automotive. Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), which otherwise would not comment on this story, said that it addresses all the quality problems it encounters and that evaluates the comments of evaluators such as Consumer Reports.

At the dealerships, Jeep products also have a price close to the suggested retail prices. and customers spend a lot on accessories, said Kelsey Mays, consumer affairs editor at Cars.com. So, while cars and SUVs of other brands often have to be sold with discounts and incentives, Jeep vehicles require much less help.

"If you see [the Jeep] Wrangler, still sold near a sticker, "he said.

All this sales success comes from a series of factors, including a wide range of models, the introduction of the brand in more markets around the world and, especially, a general change of the market towards SUVs. But it is also due to a strong desire for the name and style of Jeep in many parts of the world.

The Jeep Compbad does not look like a Wrangler, but it does come in an all-terrain version of Trail Rated.

"Europe and Asia, specifically, are interested and in love with the idea of ​​the United States," said Brian Moody, executive editor of Autotrader. "I do not think this has diminished as much as maybe some in the media would want you to think and I think Jeep is the perfect epitome of that."

The identity of Jeep comes directly from the machines that General George C. Marshall called "the greatest contribution of the United States to modern warfare." These were the MB Willys-Overland and Ford GPWs, box-shaped cars, with four-wheel drive designed to go where other cars could not.

Today's Jeep Wrangler is a direct descendant of those vehicles.

Not all jeeps are a Wrangler, the most popular product of the brand and the most emblematic. but from the small Compbad crossover to the Grand Cherokee, each one is a "declaration" vehicle. Yes, at the end of the day, most Jeeps are practical SUVs that fulfill their obligations as family carriers, not like a Toyota RAV4 or a Honda CR-V. For that matter, sometimes not even so well. But a jeep says something about its owner. He says "I'm different from you, Honda CR-V driver, because I could go somewhere, in addition to my children's school and the supermarket."

Even in its most modern form, the Jeep Wrangler maintains obvious links with its predecessor of the 1940s.

Fiat Chrysler has ensured that all Jeep models are available in a Trail Rated version. Jeeps with the Trail Rated round badge have special tires and four-wheel drive systems, plus additional protection to resist the hazards of rock-covered trails. But the main thing they protect is the important authenticity of Jeep.

"All the identity of a brand is based on & # 39; I will transform myself by buying this jacket, buying this bag, driving this car", said luxury brand consultant Pamela Danziger. "So, by giving them that extra sleep ability, it's incredibly attractive."

The Wrangler, the main product of Jeep, takes that "capacity of dream" to an extreme. In the most recent version, introduced in 2017, engineers strived to retain the ability to fold the windshield, a challenge in a modern car. It is unlikely that most Wrangler buyers understand why they would want to do that. Even less would they do it. But it can still be done because, in World War II, a Jeep driver could do that. (There are several explanations for why it was done in the war, since it facilitates the loading of a stretcher to reduce the light reflections that could reveal the position of the Jeep to the enemy).

Today it is done for a reason: because it is a jeep.

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