Jeep went hard with the launch of the new Wrangler. For a while, Jeep was moving nearly as many Wranglers as Toyota moves Camrys. Unsurprisingly, that wasn’t sustainable. And now that Wrangler sales have calmed down, there are a ton of 2018 models still stuck on dealer lots.
According to a study by data firm iSeeCars, the Wrangler Unlimited and the Wrangler take the #1 and #2 spots for the models with the most leftover 2018 inventory. A full 16.8 percent of Wranglers on lots are 2018 models and a staggering 19.5 percent of Wrangler Unlimiteds are year-old SUVs. That’s compared to an industry average of 4.0 percent of inventory being MY2018.
We’ve written about how there are too many unsold MY2018 cars in general, but it’s clearly affecting some models more than others. This excess 2018 inventory can make it harder for dealers to sell down their 2019 cars as the 2020 models show up, creating a cycle that perpetuates the problem.
And while more incentive spending is allocated to these older cars, they’ve already taken a stronger depreciation hit that means they aren’t always better deals than a more expensive 2019 model.
Of course, Jeep isn’t the only company struggling with this. While seven of the top 10 models for 2018 inventory are American, the #3 spot is occupied by the Porsche Macan. With 15.3 percent of inventory cars being 2018 models, the Macan is the only luxury vehicle to be this heavily weighted toward older vehicles.
The Macan also had a refresh for 2019, which may make moving the remaining units more difficult. Meanwhile, two cars that were all-new for 2018 made the list, suggesting that sales haven’t met expectations. Those models, the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross and the Ford EcoSport, have received lukewarm reception in reviews.
Finally, the top 10 vehicles with the most excess 2018 inventory were almost all SUVs. The Kia Optima, Chevy Malibu and Chrysler Pacifica may be at the bottom half of the list, but clearly there’s more SUV inventory glut than sedan excess.