Based on industry rumors that seem to persist, those interested in exploring Jeep lease deals might notice a few more doors opening for them in the weeks-to-come. Even more interesting is the fact that adventurous off-roaders and overlanders, who might have previously excluded themselves from lease consideration, might also be presented with opportunities to change their minds.
A year ago, the Jeep brand was busy setting ambitious sales records, with compelling new offerings and redesigns propelling a 45% increase over the previous year. And as part of a bigger whole, that spike contributed to the overall increase of 14% that FCA was enjoying.
But in March of the year, Jeep experienced its third consecutive month of declining sales, reporting an 11% drop. Even the Wrangler, a perennial favorite, posted March numbers that reflected a decline of 21%. The end result for Q1: a 7% drop for the Jeep brand, and 10% for the Wrangler, while countless Wranglers sit motionless on dealer lots, adding up with each passing day.
And if the ‘blame-game’ is being played, many have been quick to target design of the JL Wrangler as well as anticipation of the Gladiator, citing both as a reason why people might be buying fewer Wranglers. At least that’s one theory that’s been picking up steam on the ‘Jeep it and Creep it’ Reddit thread, after being presented by u/BrapDickellsford.
“Jeep has lost their way. The Wrangler is dead…,” is one of the comments left by the user under a related SubReddit. And while some might discredit this criticism as the work of another neck-bearded internet troll, it seems to be validated by some of the commentary provided by industry analysts.
One can’t help but wonder how far the mighty have fallen. But Jeep seems prepared to jumpstart sales, and get those idle units moving thanks to a groundbreaking new lease program.
According to insiders, Jeep is poised to announce a seasonal short-term lease program which will allow qualified lessees to get behind the wheel of slow-moving Wranglers from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. And if you think enjoyment of the Wrangler will be limited by the confines of traditional wear-and-tear lease clauses, you might be surprised. Word is that Jeep will be offering a series of deductible options designed to cover off-roading damage.
“People love the open-air adventure that a Wrangler offers,” explains an anonymous source, who identifies themselves only as a high-level decision maker. “This program will encourage people to get off the road, out those doors and enjoying everything that nature has to offer. And for Jeep, it just makes sense. We’re losing more money by letting those Wranglers sit unsold than we ever could on post-lease refurbishment. This allows us to generate a high-yield revenue stream to hold us over until the market strengthens. It’s a no-brainer really.”
Being referred to as ‘The Best Summer Ever’ Event, it’ll be interesting to see if this rumor comes to fruition. And if it does, it’ll be even more interesting to see how well it pays off for the folks at Jeep. Might this be a new annual event? Only time will tell.