Jeep’s global head, Mr. Mike Manley, has confirmed a new, sub-4 meter SUV for the Indian market, from the sidelines of the Los Angeles Motor Show. The sub-4 meter Jeep will be the lowest priced SUV in the American automaker’s vehicle range. It will compete against the Maruti Vitara Brezza, the Ford Ecosport and the Tata Nexon in the Indian market.
On when it will be launched and how much it’ll be priced at remains unknown for now. However, expect a starting price figure of well under Rs. 10 lakhs for the latest Jeep SUV. It is expected to be built at Fiat’s Ranjangaon manufacturing unit, where another Jeep – the Compass – is presently built.
From India, Jeep may offer the new, sub-4 meter compact SUV to other right-hand drive markets as well. So, the Ranjangaon factory may become an export hub for the new compact SUV as well. Jeep already exports the Compass to all right-hand drive markets from the Ranjangaon facility.
Globally, Jeep has no sub-4 meter SUV. Moreover, it has been testing the Renegade (a compact SUV that’s about 4.3 meters long) on Indian roads for more than 2 years now. It is anticipated that the Renegade would be shortened to measure under 4 meters, and be sold as a sub-4 meter offering from Jeep.
Apart from the shorter length, the Renegade may also lose many features to bring down costs. The vehicle anyway shares its platform (Fiat Small Wide) with the Compass. So, building a sub-4 meter Renegade in India may just be easily doable rather than developing an all-new vehicle.
Media reports have claimed that the new Jeep SUV would be in India by the end of next year, or by 2019. So, we may less than 2 years away from an all-new Jeep for India, one that is also very affordable. The sub-4 meter Jeep, along with the Compass, will be critical to the brand’s future in the Indian market.