Jeep Dealers Want More Jeeps

JeepChrysler Group dealers used its brand meeting during the National Automobile Dealers Association convention to voice a concern they share with the factory: There aren’t enough Jeep Wranglers and Grand Cherokees to meet demand in the United States.

Fiat dealers were told in the meeting that they will get details at a meeting this spring of new Fiat and Alfa Romeo models heading to their showrooms in coming years.

About 700 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat dealers attended the brand meeting. Dealers afterward said the only complaint voiced toward Chrysler executives was getting enough of certain products.

“The biggest concern is the Wrangler. The factory can’t keep up,” said Bob Ralph, general manager of Ingram Park Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in San Antonio. “It’s a pretty good problem to have.”

Jeep sold 141,669 Wranglers in the United States last year, a 16 percent gain over 2011.

Don Lee, of Lee Auto Malls, which includes two Chrysler stores in Maine, said dealers asked about the slow-selling Dodge Durango and were told that the large crossover would receive a marketing push later this fall.

He also said Fiat dealers were told by Tim Kuniskis, Fiat’s North American brand head, to expect a preview this spring of the 10 new Fiat and Alfa Romeo nameplates headed to the United States by 2016.

Reid Bigland, Chrysler Group’s head of U.S. and Canadian sales, led the meeting and said he was surprised that no one asked about the automaker’s new volume growth program, which began in January. Bigland said dealers had “an unprecedented amount of input” in the design of Chrysler’s latest dealer incentive program and that the lack of questions did not mean dealers weren’t interested, only that they had the information they needed.


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