Jeep Exx says ‘Toyota can’t do what we do’ off-road

The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4Xe brings plug-in hybrid technology to the company’s upmarket SUV. The hybrid drivetrain offers a new level of efficiency and more power than the alternative V8 engine. However, Jeep was keen to make it clear that the model had not yet relinquished its off-road capabilities, with executive Jeff Ellsworth making some bold statements on the matter at Australian outlets. Carsguide.

Toyota is one of the biggest players in the Australian market for off-road vehicles, with the Land Cruiser serving as a de-facto cultural icon beneath the caravan-towing geriatric set. However, when asked if Jeep has a good off-road package on the market, Ellsworth did not hesitate. “I’m biased, but I’m sure,” he said.

Ellsworth is the head of Global Jeep Product Marketing and did not hesitate to comment on the brand’s vehicle capabilities. “There are different types of off-roading, and I respect Toyota so there’s nothing against them, but when it comes to rock-crawling, Toyota can’t do what we can,” Ellsworth added. The advantage of being able to do it elsewhere, but for rock-crawling, is always going to be the zip. “

This is a bold statement from an executive. Automakers rarely make direct comparisons with their competitors or their products. Traditionally, executives and marketing materials stick to their own horn toting instead of trying to make one-up in the competition.

In this case, however, Ellsworth was keen to make it clear that the Jeep was targeting everything from the Toyota Landcruiser Prado to the Volvo XC60 when it came to the new Grand Cherokee launch. Referring to the model’s position in the marketplace, Ellsworth said, “The position has always been that of an advanced vehicle,” adding that “it is a unique vehicle that is capable of attacking the mainstream, although the premium brand may still be able to expand itself.”

Jeep has some form in this area as a company, as well. Last year, Jeep North American President Jim Morrison publicly said he was “sorry” for buyers of Ford Explorer timberline, which in his view was not as capable as Jeep’s own product.

However, victory will be in the market, not in a war of words. The new Toyota Land Cruiser went on sale a few months ago, and the new Grand Cherokee is already getting a lot of praise, it’s time for Jeep to make some gains in Australia.

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