"Being in-market for the last three decades, and four prior generations all being dedicated to two-row SUVs, there will absolutely be a little bit of an education period," Tallon said. "We're seeing a lot of momentum building even ahead of the marketing launch itself. Every day, [there's] more traffic, more hand- raisers and more people joining and following for more updates, so it's already quite recently gained a lot of traction in the marketplace."
Tallon said meeting demand can trip up automakers in the early stages of a debut. Dealers, who are excited to contend in a new category, have been taking Grand Cherokee L orders for months.
Pricing starts at $38,690 for the base 4x2 Laredo trim. The top-end Summit Reserve 4x4 with a V-8 engine opens at $66,985.
Tallon said the Limited trim that starts at $45,690 sits in the heart of the market, with its blend of soft-touch materials and luxury amenities. All prices include shipping.
The Grand Cherokee L's base price is just a little over $2,000 more than that of the current-generation two-row Grand Cherokee. A redesign of the two-row version is coming this year.
The brand is trying to stay "somewhat disciplined" with the pricing, Tallon said, to make it an easy transition for Grand Cherokee owners who want to jump into the L.
Regarding demand, Tallon said he wouldn't be surprised if the Grand Cherokee L faces a situation similar to that of the Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid.
"The Wrangler 4xe, it's been in-market now for just four months, [and] the demand continues to outstrip the supply piece of it, so I do expect that to happen for a while" with the Grand Cherokee L, Tallon said.
"Eventually, we will certainly meet that demand and welcome sold orders, so if a customer wants to come in, and they want to tailor a specific Grand Cherokee L to their needs and their liking, we'll build it exactly to their specifications."
Meeting demand for the Grand Cherokee L will rest on the nearly 5,000 workers and scores of robots at the Detroit Assembly Complex's Mack Avenue factory, the first assembly plant to open within Detroit's city limits in 30 years.
The plant will add the two-row Grand Cherokee, including a hybrid variant, to its production schedule this year.
The site has been home to automotive manufacturing since 1916, when Michigan Stamping Co. built a factory there. Chrysler took over the site in 1953, when it bought Briggs Manufacturing.
In 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it would spend $1.6 billion to revamp its Mack I and II engine sites into a vehicle assembly plant with a new 800,000-square-foot paint shop. The plant now has three shifts operating five days per week.
Said the plant's manager, Michael Brieda: "We're very excited about the history here [and] looking to extend that for another 100 years."