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Can Jeep succeed in Australia?

The Jeep Compass launched to the media this week in Australia and the brand is excited, but is Jeep doing the right things in Australia to win back trust?

THE JEEP COMPASS was launched to the media this week, although it’s been on-sale since before Christmas. And while Jeep is excited by its all-new compact SUV, there’s still the lingering smell of consumer disappointment with poor servcing experience on other Jeep models and poor quality.

So, even before journalists got to turn a wheel on the new Compass, Guillaume Drelon, Head of Jeep Brand, Australia was in the firing line. Drelon has spoken in the past of Jeep’s efforts to improve the customer service experience and that he believes the quality of Jeep product has improved greatly… here’s how our quick Q&A went.

DM: How can you address customer dissatisfaction and poor public perception issues with the Jeep brand in Australia? It’s got to be more than just a five-year warranty and a There & Back guarantee?

GD: “You’re right. I think a five-year warranty is not enough. I mean that’s why we designed this package, not only a five-year warranty, we’ve got also the five-year capped-price servicing and the lifetime roadside assistance, which is a package that brings a lot of value and peace of mind.

“It’s still not enough; what we also do is work on the customer satisfaction. We’ve done massive actions to go back to our customers, fix the issues and make sure that we can properly take care of them, and that’s the strategy of the company.

“So it goes through how can we care properly for our customers, how can we provide the right product, the right price and the right service. It’s a journey, because we need to build that, we cannot build that overnight, so it’s something we are in the process of doing.

“We have done a lot of things, in terms of parts availability, in terms of customer training, aftersales training, and we’ve seen a big, big improvement in our customer satisfaction already, so I think it’s a very good sign, it’s very positive and that’s the trend we follow.”

DM: What about the vehicles themselves? Has there been a measurable quality improvement?

GD: “Yeah, totally. We see it through the number of recalls, the number of technical issues we might have and how quickly we can fix a car, so these are the metrics, more or less all the OEM stuff, and we are doing good, we are moving really in the right way.”

Question: What else do you think Jeep can do to improve customer perception?


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Benn0
Benn0
2 years ago

It seems they are improving, but still you hear of things that make you shake your head. My Jeep has been problem free so far, but the current alternator issue is a big problem. They have recognised the issue with the petrol models but are ignoring the same issue on diesel models. When someone has a failed alternator in a petrol model, in some cases the dealer still pushes back on the owner, until they manage to get the right person at FCA to get the dealer to do the right thing. It seems that dealers and FCA and even different people within FCA just aren’t on the same page a lot of the time.

Sometimes the best way to get results is to contact Ashton Wood (Destroy my Jeep) and he is able to talk directly to FCA management to get the right result for the owner, sometimes. It’s a bit of a joke.

David Holmes
David Holmes
2 years ago
Reply to  Benn0

No better than most Ford dealerships

kelvin hyde
kelvin hyde
2 years ago
Reply to  Benn0

They may be improving but why would you be silly enough to go out and buy one when you have such a good choice of far better products, similar to people still buying the imported Holden garbage.

Benn0
Benn0
2 years ago
Reply to  kelvin hyde

The Grand Cherokee is just far better than anything else on the market at that price point. The only thing that compares is the Disco, but it costs a whole lot more. On that basis I’m prepared to put up with some stuffing around from dealers, if I bought an everest I’d be in the same boat. Even toyotas have their issues, but I’m not putting up with that Prado diesel…. 14 secs 0-100kph…. LOL

Steve
Steve
2 years ago
Reply to  Benn0

Spot on Benno, apart from poor customer service they are a superior vehicle

Steve
Steve
2 years ago

I have a 2015 Grand Cherokee diesel which I mostly love, however Jeep customer service still sucks, I have an minor ongoing” Intermediate ” electrical issue with the door entry touch pad, I have reported issue to dealer at each service – they have not duplicated problem so they charge me $$ to investigate it, they wont problem solve! – Shocking service! under warranty – they blame Jeep, as they say they wont pay to problem solve issues that they cant prove up front – customer word means nothing , tried talking with FCA, WASTE OF TIME – get no feedback or action – not even lip service.
Mr. Drelon talk is cheap, if you don’t fix these issues with customer service Jeep Will fail in Australia even if they make great driving vehicles

Monty
Monty
2 years ago

I’d be interested in ratings for customer service from various car makers. I wonder how well it relates to their sales. I bought a VW in spite of their reputation because I liked (still do) the vehicle. I am sure that some people would not consider VW at all, no matter how good the car is. In a cut throat sales environment where most vehicles are pretty good, customer service would, I expect, be a major differentiator.

Benn0
Benn0
2 years ago
Reply to  Monty

Probably the case, where other car makers offer similar product. Toyota don’t offer a product with features that I like, (offroad ability, power, comfort, good price). If they updated the Prado and put a decent motor in it I’d probably buy it. As long as they don’t make it ugly like LR did to the Disco…..

Farr-King Elle
Farr-King Elle
2 years ago

How about:
1. Making the warranty 7 years
2. Making sure that issues are diagnosed and fixed promptly through better training and head office tech support
3. Offer a customer hotline to technical resources who can intervene when dealers don’t do their job. This needs to be well resourced
4. Make and follow through on the best customer service and backup in the industry

Finally, if the product and customer backup become Lexus like, it will take 5+ years for this to finally work through to strong sales.

I for one will NOT consider any FCA product.

Azmodan
Azmodan
2 years ago

Can they stop building junk?

Michael Haworth
Michael Haworth
2 years ago

Jeep needs to be serious about parts availability in Australia. Twice I had to wait over 3 months for parts to get my Wrangler back on the road. I was treated very badly by Jeep Australia and I am not confident they have fixed the basic problems. I will wait a few more years to see how Jeep does better with quality and taking care of it’s customers. The new JL Wrangler is tempting but I was very happy to be rid of my last Wrangler. Not sure I am game to give them another go anytime soon.

Gus
Gus
2 years ago

I’ve had no major issue’s with my 2014 Grand Cherokee Diesel and like Benno said nothing can beat in terms of value for money. The dealer has been great with me so far.

Dean Mellor

Dean Mellor