With Jeep sales on the slide in Australia compared to the lofty heights of years gone by, FCA Australia has made huge internal changes to turn things around, with a five-year warranty now on the cards.
Billed as a way of gaining customer trust and providing extra reassurance, a five-year warranty would build on the current three-year/100,000km offering.
According to Mike Manley, head of Jeep, RAM and COO of the Asia Pacific region, a five-year warranty is on the cards for our market, as an important part of rebuilding its relationship with customers.
“I can tell you that the new managing director [of FCA Australia] is already in discussions with me about five-year warranty, not necessarily because of the struggles that we’ve got,” Manley said.
“I think we’re very transparent with ourselves about where we are and what we need to do.”
With a number of brands now offering five-, seven- and even eight-year warranties, a five-year warranty would bring Jeep further into line with its peers in the SUV segment. The boss of FCA Australia, Steve Zanlunghi, told a group of journalists there is a holistic approach being taken to repair the brand.
“We are looking at all the different opportunities we have to build the brand again. We are looking at brand perception, cost of ownership, consideration and all the ways we can sustain growth in Australia,”
Asked whether increasing warranty from three years to five would be that big of a deal given the Australian Consumer Law, Zanlunghi told CarAdvice that the process for increasing its warranty offering is far more complex than just changing a number.
For the warranty increase to work, the brand would need to amortise the cost of any warranty work between years three and five to ensure the operation remains profitable. This would mean getting the factory on board with cost coverage, or absorbing the cost internally.
Either way, FCA Australia will make a decision on the extended warranty early next year. CarAdvice will keep you posted as more information comes to hand.