The iconic brand, Jeep, entered the India market with three fully-imported Completely Built Units (CBU) products that carried a steep price tag. Soon after, the American brand launched the much-affordable Compass that became a huge success. Jeep CEO Mike Manley has now announced Jeep’s plan to launch a new SUV that will sit below the Compass in the Indian line-up.
While it was speculated that Jeep may bring in the Renegade to India, the SUV does not fit the sub 4-meter criteria that is important to keep costs low in India. Jeep has realised that the Indian market can be won with a price game, and the rising demand of SUVs make it a perfect market to launch a new product. The manufacturer made the announcement during the parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) five-year plan announcement.
Details about the new car are not known yet but Jeep is expected to exploit the Fiat Panda and 500 platform to build the new SUV. Fiat is already working on the next-generation 4X4 Panda and it will serve as a perfect base for the upcoming baby Jeep. This will be the most affordable product of the brand and will be available in only select markets. Engine details are not out too. But in all probability, Jeep may use the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol and 1.3-litre diesel engine as both these engines fit the profile for tax benefits in India.
Jeep has not announced any timelines for the launch of the new affordable SUV. However, we can safely expect that by 2020, Jeep should be ready with the production version of the newly announced SUV. 2020 will also see the implementation of stricter BS VI emission norms in India, and will give Jeep and Fiat enough time to devise new engines for the product or tweak current engines to make them suitable for the new car and the market.
Jeep also made a major announcement about a new mid-size SUV with three rows and seven seats, for the Indian market. This SUV is expected to sit above the Compass and take on rivals like the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. In addition, Jeep announced that the current capacity of Fiat’s Ranjangaon plant will be increased to feed export markets.
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