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Gladiator sales projections???

Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by CDJSalesPro, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

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    Anything can crawl over a small rock, the question here is what size boulder and it appears that a pickup can't clear as big a boulder as the Wrangler. It still is more than capable for most off road needs.
     
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  2. Mr. Fusion

    Mr. Fusion Well-Known Member

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    There are people on Allpar who have asserted that the marketing for Gladiator has ignored the "truck-like" functions in favor of the "Jeep-like" functions. I'm saying that truck buyers know how to research, and that a 30-second TV ad means little to those folks.

    As for JT's rock-climbing ability, I'm sure it can climb over rocks quite well...but not as well as JL. Anyone else will come to the same conclusion as long as they possess the necessary component known as "eyes". I mean, just look at that wheelbase! Again, I don't think the marketing is somehow misleading. It can still do a lot of "Jeep stuff" for a truck, and it can do more "truck stuff" than other trucks in its class.

    Is the pricing a mistake? Probably! And that is where I think the majority of us are in agreement.
     
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  3. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    True enough. But by showing JT do similar stunts to JL's, the wider market is getting the impression that both of them can do the same stuff.

    The fact that FCA is using a prop intended for JL to demonstrate JT's breakover angles at the Chicago Show isn't helping. Then again, perhaps it is helping in the sense that whoever watches that video will quickly understand JT's limitations ;)
     
  4. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    I wouldn't say that the marketing has ignored JT's truck credentials. The fact that JT comes with a 7,000 lb towing capability proves this. But I agree that the marketing tends to show JT crawling over rocks more than it shows it pulling something.

    The two messages pickup buyers respond to most strongly are (1) tough durability and (2) capability to get the work done. This has been the case since forever. Whenever an automaker attempted to market a pickup with an alternative positioning, like Honda Ridgeline, Mitsubishi Raider, or Subaru Brat, it fell flat on its face.

    What seems to be happening is that FCA is sending conflicting messages: one the one hand it is saying JT is as tough and capable as any midsize truck; on the other, it is saying JT is an off-road vehicle in the vein of Wrangler. Jeep's instincts to communicate ruggedness and capability are being undermined by the alternative narrative that JT is a "lifestyle" truck.

    I agree that traditional pickup buyers research specs better than most. However, for that type of buyer JT is going to look over-priced. The key to achieving 100,000 units each year will reside in convincing enough image buyers that JT is the truck for them. But that message is at odds with what traditional pickup buyers want to hear.

    This tension between work and lifestyle truck has long been tough to reconcile. Ford addressed this by giving Raptor a separate identity from F-Series. But unlike Raptor, Gladiator does not have an established pickup sibling to take care of the volume. Somehow JT has to do both.
     
    #684 aldo90731, Feb 19, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2020
  5. Mr. Fusion

    Mr. Fusion Well-Known Member

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    Maybe this is too old to be relevant to how marketing is done today, but I recall the Jeep Comanche and International Harvester pickups being presented as both capable pickup trucks and rugged off-road vehicles. Although the low sales volume of both models may actually prove your point...
     
  6. Ryan

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    I’d be interested in seeing an ad showing a Gladiator doing work around the farm or something like that, similar to what we see in Ram commercials. That would be a nice change of perspective.
     
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  7. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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  8. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Indeed. Perhaps show Gladiator doing work around the farm, pulling a stump or whatnot. Then, when the work is done, the farmer takes Gladiator out on a trail to have fun. That would show both: Gladiator is a real truck, and can also be fun like a Jeep.

    It would take a 60-minute ad to communicate those two messages.

    Sounds like the Super Bowl ad that should have been.
     
  9. WXman

    WXman Well-Known Member

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    I think you're giving consumers too much credit.

    FCA was advertising ONE towing figure, and that's the 7,650 lbs. maximum available capacity. They completely failed to mention that only one package, which is available on only one trim level gives you that number. And, consumers largely fail to do homework themselves, so they walk into the dealership thinking, "Hey, it's a Gladiator, it can tow over 7,000 lbs.!" Truth is, the Sport, Overland, and Rubicon are all limited to much lower numbers, and, in the case of Overland and Rubicon the practical towing capacity with a family in the truck is capped at 3,000 to 4,000 lbs. due to payload capacity.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is, flashing one towing number in a commercial doesn't get the job done. Jeep did a miserable job of actually explaining the truck details of this truck. And to make matters worse, the first version of the owners manual that shipped with the Gladiator had almost ZERO towing information in it. And it did literally have zero information about GCWR, GVWR, payload, etc. of various trims. They finally corrected that recently.

    So, the TV ads showing JT blasting through the sand are cool, but are failures. They shouldn't have tried to position JT and JL together because the point of JT was always to be more truck like. I'd like to see ads where Gladiator is on a job site, or towing a camper, or dragging a boat out of a lake, or hauling a huge load of firewood to a cabin in the snow. That's the advertising that would have boosted this truck.

    I guess we can agree to disagree. First of all, Rubicon is still the most capable pickup truck money can buy on technical trails. Secondly, Jeep NEVER stated that people should compare JT to JL off road, and the Rubicon trim level decal on the hood doesn't make that implication either, just as the "Trail Rated" emblems on the sides of nearly every Jeep made does not imply that every one of those Jeeps can handle the exact same trails. Thirdly, I do not believe that the average consumer goes into the dealership looking for a pickup truck to serve as their hard core trail toy. People who primarily off road are going Wrangler every time.
     
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  10. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    FCA doesn’t need to tell people to compare JT and JL: if FCA shows JT doing JL-like things, because they look so much alike people are going to lump them together. Sharing identical styling, the Rubicon name, front and rear lockers and swaybar disconnect, etc., brings JT much CLOSER to JL than say to a Renegade with a pair of round headlights and a “Trail Rated” badge.

    We completely agree on the ad message you indicate above —in bold. That’s precisely the message traditional pickup buyers want to hear. To them, seeing JT doing JL-like stuff makes Gladiator look like an over-priced toy.

    But again, to achieve FCA’s lofty volumes at those lofty prices, Jeep needs to lure both, traditional pickup buyers and image-seeking buyers. The problem is that the two messages are at odds: image buyers don’t want just any pickup, and traditional pickup buyers don’t want a truck that looks like an over-priced toy.

    This intersection of Jeep + pickup clearly works for you, @Zagnut27 and many others. But I seriously doubt there’s enough of you guys out there to sustain 80,000-100,000 units per year at $50,000 a piece. Loss of sales momentum and rapidly growing discounts appear to be a sign of this. And soon enough, there will be used JTs popping up too.
     
    #690 aldo90731, Feb 20, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
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  11. WXman

    WXman Well-Known Member

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    I don't think they'll hit 100,000 units per year unless they continue to offer significant discounts AND push out a better advertising campaign to burn into the minds of consumers that this is, in fact, a truck. Which makes it seem nuts to me that Ford is allegedly drumming up a Bronco-based pickup truck to compete with Gladiator. Entering this niche segment is a risky proposition. But, I also don't agree with media reports that Gladiator is "struggling" because I never heard Jeep discuss wanting to be a segment sales leader with this truck.

    All I know is that 9.5 out of 10 people I interact with have a strong misunderstanding of what Gladiator really is and how it's really built and how it really compares to the other trucks on the market, and I blame that on Jeep's lack of appropriate advertising.
     
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  12. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    One of the articles linked before quotes Jeep dealers saying that the initial intent was for Gladiator to be a niche pickup, but FCA changed its tune and now wants JT to compete head-on against the big boys in the segment.

    Sounds like although the sales targets were revised, the marketing approach wasn't.
     
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  13. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    There is a lot of growth in the midsize truck market (average 20% growth per year for the last five years). The full size truck market is larger, but there isn't that much overall growth.
    There is the potential for a lot of Gladiators if the price is right.
     
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  14. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    I've seen a good bit of grumbling about the "discounts" built into the Truck of the Year package from people who already bought Gladiators. Probably if I looked, I could find the same about the Friends and Family discounts being added (unavailable at release) or the $2k incentives.

    Those who must go first often end up paying more.
     
  15. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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    Pay more, and deal with all the teething issues of a first year vehicle. We escaped unscathed with our Encore, but I recall all the issues our first Escort had...even for a Ford it was bad.
     
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  16. JKU12

    JKU12 Well-Known Member

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    They should know there is a risk in being one of the first to line up. This isn't anything new.
     
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  17. link3721

    link3721 Yes, This MK Goes Off-Road

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    I don't have sympathy for early adopters. They should know better.
     
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  18. rmtodd

    rmtodd Well-Known Member

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    TDTV--- Tasmanian Devil Transport Vehicle.
     
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  19. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    I was talking to a group of local college kids yesterday: they were telling me Gladiator has become the poseur vehicle of choice to be seen in the posh areas of Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle.

    The most work a Gladiator is ever going to see in those areas is haul a 80-inch screen TV from the local Costco store.
     
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  20. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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    I would love to have a Gladiator, and I’m sure my wife wouldn’t mind an 80-inch TV. We have a 65-inch TV in our family room, so I guess it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. :) Either I need a truck, or something that can pull a good sized trailer. :D
     
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