Jeep sales climb in Japan

Whereas American-branded cars have historically struggled in Japan, Jeep, the rugged-looking sport utility automobile, appears to be gaining popularity, notably amongst youthful shoppers.

Jeep gross sales within the Asian nation are anticipated to increase 5 p.c this 12 months to better than 15,000 fashions, Hitoshi Ushikubo, the top of gross sales at Fiat Chrysler Japan, acknowledged in an interview Monday. Fiat Chrysler Japan has however to be formally merged with the Japan workplace of Peugeot SA, which is ready to convey it under the model new Stellantis NV umbrella.

Customers in Japan have typically opted for smaller cars with extreme gasoline effectivity, one function why Ford Motor Co. ended up quitting the nation in 2016. However Jeep has managed to retain a loyal purchaser base. Now, amid the coronavirus pandemic, further youthful individuals are taking an curiosity within the cars, drawn by their talent to cope with every kind of outside terrain, which helps with avoiding public transport.

“We’ve made efforts to suit with the Japanese market” by rolling out cars with right-hand drive, in distinction to Basic Motors and Ford, Ushikubo acknowledged. “Younger persons are on the lookout for vehicles that enable them to current part of their character,” he acknowledged, together with {{that a}} sturdy social media presence has moreover helped the mannequin.

Jeep purchased 1,925 cars in March, 36 p.c better than the equivalent month of 2020, which was impacted by COVID-19, with Wrangler and Renegade marques essentially the most well-liked, in step with a press launch Tuesday. Jeep ranked third ultimate 12 months amongst imported SUV producers in Japan, selling 13,588 fashions.

Tsubasa Imai, who bought a Jeep Grand Cherokee a few months previously, is one glad purchaser. “I like out of doors actions and I used to be on the lookout for a automobile that has excessive horsepower and may carry quite a lot of baggage,” the 24-year-old acknowledged. There moreover aren’t too many cars in Japan that will tow a ship along with look cool, he acknowledged.

Fiat Chrysler Japan expects to introduce new fashions for the Grand Cherokee, Compass and Gladiator this 12 months. Conserving to that schedule may nonetheless depend on the provision of chips, Ushikubo acknowledged.

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