After a long delay, American SUV brand Jeep will arrive into India by the end of next year. The Fiat-Chrysler group, which owns the Jeep brand, will bring the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee SUVs to India next year, as completely built units (CBU) meant to build the brand. While 2016 will see Jeep commencing manufacturing operations in the country with the Jeep Patriot/Compass replacement SUV rolling out of Fiat’s Ranjangaon manufacturing facility, the lip smacking Renegade could also be lined up for India. However, 2017 is the projected launch timeframe for the Jeep Renegade, which is built on Fiat’s US Small platform that it shares with the 500X crossover.
The Renegade is a 5 seater that measures a little over 4 meters, and is in fact competition to the likes of the Renault Duster and the upcoming Hyundai iX25 compact SUVs. However, the Jeep badge on the bonnet means that the Renegade will have plenty of off road cred. In fact, a trail rated version of the Renegade goes on sale in Jeep’s home market of the United States, highlighting the capabilities of this compact SUV, which is built to stay true to the Jeep DNA. The Renegade is sold with turbocharged petrol and diesel engines in markets abroad. Similar options are likely to be offered in the Indian market if Fiat comes around to launching the Renegade here.
With Fiat pushing to develop India as an export hub for the Jeep brand, adding the Renegade into the production line at Ranjangaon makes a bunch of sense. A high amount of localization and a high quality workforce at low labour rates mean that the Renegade’s manufacturing in India will be a profitable proposition for Jeep and Fiat, especially with big export volumes thrown in for good measure. Compact SUV buyers will hope and pray that this rumour of the Renegade hitting Indian shores has a solid back story to it. Until official confirmation arrives from Fiat India, the Renegade’s arrival here will be consigned to the rumour mill.