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Russian Jeep Sales Suffer Massive Downward Spiral

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In the span of three years, Jeep sales in Russia have gone from 8,221 units to 1,269 units

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The Jeep Renegade, Russia’s least expensive Jeep model, is still too expensive for many Russian drivers

Jeep may be commonly referred to as the most American vehicle brand in the market. Be that as it may, Jeep is simultaneously struggling in the automotive environments of many countries outside the United States.

Take Russia for example. Jeep sales in Russia are on a massive downward spiral, which experts attribute to a small model lineup and poor marketing.

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Three years ago in 2014, Russian Jeep sales peaked at 8,221 units. However, roughly a year later, sales plummeted 75% in 2015, resulting in a mere 2,057 units sold.

Things only got worse for Jeep from there. Last year, its Russian sales fell an additional 38.3%, with only 1,269 units sold throughout the country.

The popularity of SUVs and CUVs is on the rise in Russia. So why is the Jeep brand struggling so much in the Russian market?

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Sergey Stepanichev, deputy editor of Auto Analyst, credits Jeep’s downfall in Russia to its limited lineup. Only five Jeep vehicles are currently sold in Russia, and each of those vehicles only has a small selection of engine options to choose from.

Meanwhile, recent economic downturns in Russia have made Jeep vehicles far too expensive for the average consumer. The least expensive Russian Jeep model is the Renegade, which starts at a price of RR1.46 million, or the equivalent of $25,600, while the best-selling Jeep model in Russia, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, starts at a price of RR2.8 million, the equivalent of $52,000.

In the United States, the Renegade starts at a price of $17,995. Meanwhile, the Jeep Grand Cherokee only costs $30,395 in the U.S.

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Jeep is also struggling to attract partnerships with dealers in Russia. Autocenter Aurora, one of the largest auto dealers in Russia, just terminated an agreement with FCA over “issues of business.”

Mikhail Gevorkov, co-owner of Autocenter Aurora, went on to elaborate on this business issues, eplaining that FCA had not been importing updated versions of its Jeep vehicles to the dealership. Prior to this, Elva Motors, another large Russian dealer network, also ended its partnership with FCA.

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In 2015, FCA was in the middle of planning a $1 billion Jeep assembly plant in St. Petersburg, Russia. However, Russia’s economic downturn convinced the automaker to abandon those plans.

Now it seems like Russia might be getting ready to abandon the Jeep brand altogether.

News Source: WardsAuto