At the temporary end of a road near Chrysler’s own Trenton engine plant stands the Feldman dealership. It’s not famous, but it carries Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, and, now in a differently-styled but connected wing, Jeep.
Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram are all done up in the millennium styling theme insisted upon by the late Sergio Marchionne, which is clean though perhaps somewhat dated; but the Jeep showroom is done up in an upscale wood-and-dark-gray motif. Even the word “Jeep” is different, set up in chrome rather than the black of Ram, Chrysler, and the dealership name itself.
The company started to encourage standalone Jeep showrooms, which adopted this styling, years ago; but having a non-standalone showroom adopt different styling is relatively new. Jeep is clearly being differentiated, as many enthusiasts say should have been done from the start, given the special needs of the traditional Jeep buyer (albeit not the typical Jeep buyer). The high-end Wagoneer may be showing another rationale for visually splitting Jeep off from the other brands. Sales and service training emphasizes that Wagoneer buyers will not tolerate shoddy treatment, and that dealerships must change to be successful with the new premium truck-based SUVs. Wagoneer buyers, indeed, may not just be buying capability and luxury; they might be buying a far better dealer experience, too.
The Jeep Compass has been made far more upscale with the 2022 models; Jeep seems to be going places. One may ask if the Renegade will come along for the ride, but that’s another story.