It’s always interesting to see where customers do most of their cross shopping in the car industry, as the results can often be surprising. For Dodge’s SRT Challenger and Charger muscle cars, the Chevrolet Corvette is actually the most cross-shopped vehicle. It turns out that interesting cross shopping extends to other FCA brands, with Jeep. According to Ford’s recent investment presentation, they said Ford is Jeep’s most cross shopped brand. And this comes before the Ford Bronco family of SUVs are even on sale.
“Customers who are looking at rugged, off-road capable vehicles; we have some of those vehicles in our portfolio today, but they skew on the truck side of things,” said Esteban Plaza-Jennings, Bronco Marketing Manager, in a one-on-one interview with MC&T.
“Think Raptor, think Tremor, even all of the FX4 and Ford Performance off-road oriented packs on the Ranger. We’ve been in this space, we just haven’t had this form factor before,” he continued. “So when a customer is looking for a capable off-road vehicle, they’re looking at Jeep because they do have a good reputation in this space, no doubt. And they’ve looked at us based on our difference on trucks.”
If this report came out next spring, that wouldn’t be too surprising because the Wrangler’s chief rival, the Bronco, would be on sale. But this comes far before the Bronco, so Ford’s existing lineup must have some reason to challenge Jeep. It’s also important to note the comparison is not from only the Wrangler, but from the Jeep and Ford brands as a whole.
There’s also the phenomenon of the Ford F-150 and Mustang both ranking high as trade-in vehicles for the iconic Wrangler SUV. Additionally, the Mustang does have a tendency to be the second vehicle of a Wrangler owner. All of this implies that customer choice is much more than just the rigid and literal segmentation of apples-to-apples products, but also certain personalities and psychographic categories.
After all, it makes sense that the Mustang tends to share a garage with a Jeep Wrangler, it has the same cultural importance and recognition Jeep’s halo product has earned. For people that don’t want or need an off-roader, the Mustang gives the style buyers are after. They’re both equally representative of Automotive Americana.
Now that the Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport are coming, we expect this cross-shopping to only become more common. The Bronco is the first true competitor the Wrangler has seen in years, while the Bronco Sport is slated offer better off-road capability than just about any other crossover, Jeep’s CUVs included.