Somewhat lost in yesterday's Jeep press conference was news the off-road brand will, in two years, resurrect the Grand Wagoneer nameplate — the vehicle with the second longest continuous automotive production run in U.S. history.
"It's time we gave the market an upper-scale Grand Wagoneer," Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said yesterday. "You'll see it in January 2013."
The Grand Wagoneer would be a seven-seat SUV built on the same platform as the Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango. Those two vehicles were part of Chrysler's 16-vehicle 2011 product offensive spearheaded by Marchionne when Fiat took control of the ailing-and-flailing government-saved automaker 18 months ago.
The Jeep Wagoneer was one of the earliest sport utility vehicle produced from 1963 to 1991. It was noteworthy for not only being the first luxury 4x4, but also for being in production for more than 28 years with little more than minor mechanical changes. Those 28 years amounted to the longest continuous automotive production run, on the same platform, in US automotive history.
And now it'll be back.