Snapshot: Mr Nagesh Basavanahalli, President and Managing Director of Fiat Chrysler India, has revealed to CarToq that the Jeep SUV plans for India are still on. While admitting that the launch of the Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee SUVs are definitely delayed, both SUVs – to be imported through the completely built unit (CBU) route – will be launched in the Indian car market.
However, a timeline for the launch of these high-end, imported SUVs were not revealed, possibly indicating that Fiat-Chrysler is still in the process of firming up a India-launch time frame for the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. This year, Fiat-Chrysler India plans to focus on Brand Fiat and the Abarth range of high performance cars.
Mr Basavanahalli did not offer comment on the India launch plans for the B-Segment and C-Segment Jeep SUVs that are currently under development for global markets. The B-Segment Jeep SUV – based on the Fiat US Small Wide architecture that also underpins the Fiat 500X model – will make its global debut later this year.
In 2012, Fiat-Chrysler had announced that not one, but two new B-Segment and C-Segment SUVs from the Jeep stable had been earmarked for India. Back then, Fiat-Chrysler also announced plans of making its Ranjangaon factory, off Pune, a major export hub for the Jeep range of compact SUVs.
While the Jeep B-Segment SUV, to be called the was slated to be launched in India during 2015, a 2016 launch timeframe was revealed for the C-Segment SUV. With Fiat-Chrysler pushing back its Jeep SUV plans for India, both the B-Segment and C-Segment Jeep SUVs are likely to get delayed as well.
Fiat-Chrysler has been extensively testing the new Jeep B-Segment SUV at international locations. The baby Jeep is likely to be called the Laredo. The Jeep Laredo will get a 4 wheel drive layout and a trail rating, in keeping with the American SUV brand’s rich off roading tradition.