The youngest Jeep SUV will be sharing its underpinnings with the Fiat Panda, and is likely to arrive sometime in 2020.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) held its Capital Markets Day on June 1, 2018, and the management made several presentations outlining the future road map of the company and its sub-brands including Jeep, Maserati, Ram and Alfa Romeo, as part of its five-year plan. About 26 new models will be coming from the FCA stable by 2022. The Group’s most profitable company ‘Jeep’ has some big launches lined up over the next five years including a new entry-level SUV. While speculations were rife of a small SUV to join the Jeep stable, the presentation yesterday revealed an A/B segment Jeep SUV indeed in the making and will make it to India. To be positioned below the Jeep Renegade, the American automaker will be entering the sub 4-metre SUV segment with the all-new offering.
Rumours of the sub 4-metre have been doing rounds since 2016 and Jeep CEO Mike Manley had hinted at the subcompact SUV back at the Geneva Motor Show as well. While Jeep is yet to confirm details on the upcoming offering, the model is likely to share its underpinnings with the next generation Fiat Panda and 500 models, as part of FCA’s platform sharing strategy. The model will carry the Jeep DNA at its core. So expect a boxy profile, trademark Jeep grille, and off-road capability to be the USPs of the company’s entry-level model.
Jeep’s smallest SUV also holds a lot of importance for the Indian market and will be introduced here. The model will be locally produced at the automaker’s Ranjangaon facility that currently manufactures the Jeep Compass. Launch timelines aren’t out yet but the sub 4-metre crossover is expected to arrive around 2020 and will make its way to India soon after.
The Indian subcompact SUV segment has a plethora of options and the market has been extremely receptive towards these models, making it volume friendly. The subcompact Jeep SUV will take on the Ford EcoSport, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Honda WR-V and Mahindra’s upcoming S201 (Tivoli-based SUV) as well. Furthermore, the automaker will be expanding production at the Ranjangoan faclilty by 1.5 times, while also improving its dealer count and service centres.
Until then, Jeep India’s next launch is touted to be the Renegade compact SUV that will take on the Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster and the likes. The Jeep Renegade is due for a facelift later this year and that is the model we will get, sometime in 2019. Meanwhile, the Jeep Compass Trailhawk version is scheduled to hit the markets by the end of this month or in July this year.
On the global front, Jeep is working on a handful of models as part of its five-year plan including the new generation Cherokee, new D-segment three-row Jeep crossover and the Jeep Truck (Scrambler). There will be a new two-row Grand Cherokee that will be joined by a three-row version. In addition, the next generation Renegade, refreshed Compass and a new top-of-the-line Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer is also set to arrive before 2022. All models will have plug-in hybrid options with the diesel engines phased out in the future.