Dwayne Jackson, 44
Jeep interior design chief, Stellantis
Big break: Chosen to lead interior design for the redesigned Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer
Dwayne Jackson was a designer from the beginning.
As a kid, he would carve blocks of foam to shape his own vehicle creations.
Now the world is seeing his influence on the interior layouts of Jeep, one the more iconic brands in the industry.
Jackson is putting his touch on Jeep’s next generation with a lead role on the upscale Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs, the redesigned Grand Cherokee and the three-row Grand Cherokee L.
During development of the Wagoneers, Jackson said he asked the design and engineering teams what would make their products stand out from rivals in the luxury utility-vehicle space. The answer, he said, is “in the details.”
The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer give the brand a mix of size, craftsmanship and technological prowess it hasn’t offered before. The big Jeeps build on the feature-rich pedigrees of their predecessors — the original Wagoneer came out in 1962, and the Grand Wagoneer arrived in 1984 — and will serve as technological showcases for the brand. A fully loaded Grand Wagoneer will cross $111,000.
When consumers sit down in the latest incarnations of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, Jackson wants them to feel “not just comfortable, but enabled.”
He hopes they feel “enabled to drive with confidence, enabled to operate the vehicle and the technology with ease and comfort and feel a luxurious feel.”
Jackson said working on interiors can be challenging “because you have so many different products that come together to make one product.”
When crafting interiors, he’s “trying to be free with a theme, trying to get shapes that are harmonizing with the goal of which you’re trying to achieve, the style that you’re trying to achieve,” Jackson said.
“Initially, we’re trying to free our minds,” he added, “grab inspiration from many different areas and kind of put something together that visually looks pleasing. And then the next step is to then figure out how to get things within the interior to then be placed to enable that theme.”
— Vince Bond Jr.