Mark Allen is sitting the catbird seat. He’s the Head of Design for Jeep, the brand best positioned to take advantage of America’s insatiable appetite for trucks and SUVs.
Sales were up 17 percent last year, and the company just announced it is investing several billion dollars in new U.S. production capacity that’s going to increase the number of vehicles in the lineup from 6 to 9 in the short term, and add even more down the road.
First up will be a new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, along with a yet to be named 3-row model that will be built at the same factory as the Grand Cherokee.
“There’s a lot of growth that’s going to happen in the brand in a short amount of time. We’re excited by it, and we’re working hard.”
Allen’s job is to figure out what they’ll look like, and the vehicles couldn’t be any different. The Wagoneers will be full-size trucks based on the Ram 1500 when they go on sale in 2021 and the smaller three-row that launches next year will likely share a lot with the Grand Cherokee.
Allen isn’t spilling the beans on the styling of any of them yet, but told Fox News Autos that “everything will have its own look. I like to do that within the line.”
“I don’t like the idea of the Russian doll, where it’s just larger and smaller sizes of the same design.”
One thing you can be pretty confident that they’ll feature is Jeep’s signature 7-slot grille, even if they're not retro. All of Jeeps current models have it, including the China-only Grand Commander 3-row SUV, and even though the last Wagoneer didn’t, signs are the next one will.
An early design teaser for the truck that leaked a couple of years ago depicted it with one, and also showed the relative size of the vehicle, which looked like it could eat the Grand Cherokee parked next to it.