Snapshot: Citing a slow economy and falling car sales in India, Jeep CEO Mr Mike Manley has put plans of launching the likes of the Jeep brand in India on hold. This decision will affect imported models such as the Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee models directly. It remains unclear as to whether Jeep would go ahead with its plans of launching a B-Segment SUV (2015 Jeepster) based on the Fiat 500X crossover in 2015 and a C-Segment SUV in 2015.
On the sidelines of this year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), popularly known as the Detroit Motor Show, Fiat-Chrysler owned iconic brand Jeep had an interesting announcement to make. Speaking to the WallStreetJournal, Jeep CEO Mr Mike Manley revealed that the American SUV brand had put its India plans on hold. Jeep is now recasting the timing of its entry into India.
This backtracking comes at a time when Jeep enthusiasts in India have been looking forward to the launches of the iconic Wrangler off roader and the Grand Cherokee luxury SUV. Jeep had announced its entry into India over 2 years ago, in November 2011. Notably, all Fiat official communication in India now features the Fiat Chrysler logo, in an obvious reference to the Italian automaker Fiat’s ownership of the Chrysler brand.
Apart from the Jeep Wrangler and Grande Cherokee, Jeep India has plans of launching two big volume compact SUVs in the B-Segment (2015 Jeepster based on the Fiat 500X crossover) and C-Segment, in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Also, Jeep had announced plans of making India an export hub with Fiat India’s Ranjangaon factory being a major production destination. In light of the latest developments, these plans could be deferred for later even as Fiat readies up to buy out the United Auto Workers (UAW) union’s stake on Chrysler.