Stellantis CFO Richard Palmer said during an earnings call Thursday that Jeep will continue to be strong on the higher end of the utility market.
The automaker did not report its first-quarter profit but said global net revenue was up 12 per cent to $43.6 billion (all figures in USD) because of "strong pricing and vehicle mix."
Jeep could get a boost after production ramps up this month for the redesigned two-row Grand Cherokee at a second plant. The automaker's Detroit Assembly Complex – Jefferson site has been down since late March to retool for the SUV.
An adjacent plant has been handling production of the next-generation Grand Cherokee on its own while also churning out the Grand Cherokee L. The redesigned two-row variant began shipping to dealers in late 2021.
"Jeep continues to be very strong in the high end," Palmer said. "The more challenging thing has always been selling Jeep in the in the smaller SUV segments. ... We're actually seeing quite good performance also from the Jeep Compass, which has been revamped and is performing quite well. [This] is also very positive because that's where we want to create demand and loyalty to the brand at the lower end."
Jeep's performance helped Stellantis increase net revenue in North America 30 per cent in the first quarter to $21.7 billion. Vehicle shipments in the region were up six per cent, which Stellantis mainly attributed to strong demand for the Grand Cherokee L, Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer and Compass.
"I think we're seeing a continued strong demand in North America," Palmer said, "and the overall SAAR is coming back slowly month by month."