It’s no secret that the Jeep brand in Australia has had issues with quality control that have affected the ownership experience, especially for Grand Cherokee owners. It’s a fact that hasn’t been lost on head office, especially considering many Grand Cherokee buyers see the big SUV as a premium product.
Recalls are no bad thing, when proactive. It is the manufacturer getting on the front foot with a commitment to identify and rectify any issues with its product. Regardless, the perception of the Jeep brand in Australia has taken a hit, lately, and head office is working hard to rectify that.
We posed the question at the launch of the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk: What is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles doing to combat and eradicate those issues?
“In short, we’re going to continue to improve the quality,” Collin Shaw, global Jeep marketing and brand management chief, said. “We continue to work out how to do things better and we’re working very hard to make sure the vehicles are of a high quality.”
Jeep has been building the Grand Cherokee in its current guise for some time, so it’s worth noting that the manufacturer wants to continue to improve rather that wait for the new model to roll into production. “We tackle any issues that we do face, head-on,” Shaw said.
Shaw is also willing to concede that playing in the premium space with the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz is an altogether different angle for Jeep.
“That is certainly something that is new territory for the Grand Cherokee,” he said.
“And those buyers have different expectations. Conquesting those brands is all part of the challenge that makes designing and building the Grand Cherokee platform fun – we’re adapting to those customer’s needs.”
Lucy McLellan, director of corporate communications for Fiat Chrysler Australia, went even further on what it means to offe a premium product.
“We agree that quality comes from manufacturing and engineering, but not that alone,” McLellan said. “It’s also about the customer experience, the cost of ownership, ease of assistance and servicing, access to spare parts, not to mention the cost of servicing itself.”
Jeep is currently offering three year’s free servicing on any Jeep Renegade or Cherokee or Grand Cherokee purchased before the end of 2016 and has also worked hard to improve parts pricing in Australia to deliver an even more affordable cost of ownership for buyers.
“Our commitment to improving the ownership experience has well and truly already started,” McLellan told CarAdvice. “It certainly doesn’t finish here either,” McLellan said.