Jeep

Jeep® Australia Confirms It Has Canceled The RHD Version Of The Cherokee.

Another Blow To The Cherokee's Global Presence...

Jeep® has announced that it will be ending production of its right-hand drive (RHD) version of the Cherokee (KL). The move comes as the Cherokee continues to face difficult times, as sales have continued to plummet since its mid-cycle action (MCA) for the 2019 model year

Australian-Spec 2022 Jeep® Cherokee S-Limited 4×4. (Jeep).

“Production of the Jeep Cherokee for main markets outside of North America, including RHD models, is ending in a drive to focus marketing and sales resources into key volume models,” a spokesperson for Jeep Australia stated earlier this week. “The Jeep Cherokee continues to be manufactured for Canada, the US, and South Korea – where a version with a similar specification to North America is sold.”

According to reports, fewer than 40 units are currently available in Australia and no more orders are planned to be shipped.

Australian-Spec 2022 Jeep® Cherokee S-Limited 4×4. (Jeep).

Launched in November 2013, the fifth-generation Cherokee made its debut with polarizing love-it-or-hate-it styling. It marked the first time that the nameplate had been launched on a front-wheel drive (FWD) based architecture, but provided to be widely successful for the brand at the time.

In 2017, Jeep launched the second-generation Compass (MP). Although smaller in size than the Cherokee, the Compass was designed as a true global Jeep and slowly replaced the Cherokee in several markets. In North America, many found the Compass to be very similar in interior capacity to the Cherokee and opted for the newer yet less expensive offering.

Australian-Spec 2022 Jeep® Cherokee S-Limited 4×4. (Jeep).

In 2018, Jeep updated the Cherokee with a revised styling treatment that answered customers’ concerns for a less polarizing exterior look. Instead, Cherokee sales continued to spin downward. As the Compass continued to grow on the global stage, it overshadowed the Cherokee and left Jeep to discontinue the vehicle in its lineup in several markets (including Europe).

Once the pandemic struck and supply chain shortages hit the automotive industry, Stellantis continued to minimize production at the Company’s Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois. Production became virtually non-existent there, with only one shift working a very limited schedule.

Australian-Spec 2022 Jeep® Cherokee S-Limited 4×4. (Jeep).

On the other side of the globe, the Chingsha Assembly Plant in China continued to build Cherokee (K4) models under a 50:50 joint venture between the GAC Group and Stellantis. In July 2022, Stellantis announced their intent to terminate the joint venture with GAC, shutting down local operations and moving towards importation and causing that plant to end production of the Cherokee there.

But all is not lost for the Cherokee nameplate. Jeep is hard at work on the current vehicle’s replacement: the Cherokee (KM). This vehicle will be based on the new STLA Large architecture and should be very similar in size to the all-new recently announced Wagoneer S. The new Cherokee is expected to have both internal combustion engine (ICE) and battery-electric (BEV) powertrains. 

Australian-Spec 2022 Jeep® Cherokee S-Limited 4×4. (Jeep).

It is unclear if that vehicle will reclaim the markets where the current Cherokee failed. 

But for those living in Australia, Jeep has shown that it has intentions to bring the all-new Jeep Recon (EJ) and Wagoneer S (KX) to “the land down under.” Showing that Jeep is far from shortening its global product portfolio in countries like Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Those vehicles should show up in those markets sometime in 2024.

Robert S. Miller

Robert S. Miller is a diehard Mopar enthusiast who lives and breathes all that is Mopar. The Michigander is not only a Co-Editor for MoparInsiders.com, 5thGenRams.com, and HDRams.com but an automotive photographer. He is an avid fan of offshore powerboat racing, which he travels the country to take part in.

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