How the Jeep Renegade will help Fiat come back with a bang

Fiat is really struggling in India and there are even rumours about the brand stopping sales of Fiat-branded cars here. The focus has now shifted to the Jeep brand, which will start selling the made-in-India Jeep Compass from August 2017. But the real comeback for the Fiat group could happen only in 2018, when the Renegade compact SUV makes an entry. Here’s why.

Renegade at 10 lakh rupees?

2017 Jeep Renegade

 

The Jeep brand is iconic and Indians are expected to embrace Jeep-branded SUVs in a big way if the pricing is right. Talking of pricing, a report on TheEconomicTimes has put the upcoming 2018 Renegade compact SUV at the 10 lakh rupee mark. What this means is, we’ll have a true-blue Jeep SUV competing with the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Renault Duster.

Is this even possible?

Well, a lot depends on how serious Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is about India and the Jeep brand. FCA plans to sell about 2,000 units of the Jeep Compass in India, a vehicle that has a localization level of 65-70 %. However, to sell 2,000 units, the brand really needs super competitive pricing.

A price tag that puts the Compass at about 16 lakh rupees is something that could help Jeep achieve such ambitious numbers. On the other hand, if the Compass is priced similar to the Tucson (19-25 lakhs), it’s unlikely to do more than 200-300 units per month.

Jeep-Compass-2017-1280-09

Now, let’s assume that Jeep indeed prices the entry-level Compass (measuring 4.41 meters in length) at the 16 lakh rupee mark, despite a localization of under 70 %. Now, the much smaller Renegade (4.23 meters in length) that’ll be built in India needs a localization level of at least 90-95 %. So, with such a localization level for the Renegade, the 10 lakh rupee starting price for the compact SUV doesn’t seem far fetched.

What does FCA have to say about the latest report putting the Renegade at 10 lakh rupees?

When CarToq reached out to FCA for comment, we were told that the Renegade will indeed arrive in 2018. However, they declined to comment about pricing, stating that the figure floating around is based on rumours from dealer principals.

Meanwhile, FCA continues to test the Renegade on Indian roads. Numerous test mules with heavy camouflage have been spotted in and around Pune. In fact, Fiat began testing the Renegade in India even before the Compass. The Renegade is expected to be manufactured alongside the Compass, at the Fiat factory in Ranjangaon.

Jeep Renegade 2

The Renegade measures 4.23 meters in length and has a wheelbase of 2.57 meters. In terms of size, it’s comparable to the Hyundai Creta, which is 4.27 meters long, and with a 2.59 meter wheelbase. Internationally, the Renegade comes with a host of petrol and diesel engines. It also has a 4X4 option on the top-end variants. In terms of pricing in Brazil – whose car market is comparable to that of India – the Renegade is about 25 % cheaper than the Compass.