|BRAND EXECUTIVE: Mike Manley, Head of Jeep and Ram, Fiat Chrysler Automotibiles|
Some might dismiss the choice given an industrywide shift in consumer demand toward SUVs. Yet it is worth noting that when Manley took over Jeep in 2009, the brand ranked sixth in sales among global SUV brands, he said. Now, he said, it is No. 1, and nameplates as diverse as the new Renegade subcompact and the old Jeep Wrangler continue to sell at ever-higher levels across the globe.
In the U.S., Jeep had record U.S. sales in 2014 and has been up double digits from those levels every month so far this year. Certainly part of that is due to the introduction of the Renegade, but most of the growth has come from getting the most out of aging nameplates such as the outgoing Compass and Patriot, and a Wrangler that continues to sell at record levels month after month with few, if any, incentives.
Meanwhile, Manley has shepherded the globalization of Jeepís production, bringing plants online in Europe, South America and China.