Jeep banking on India-specific models as early offerings fail

10 Jul 2017


Jeep's return to India after an over 20-year hiatus with the launch of the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler proved to be with a whimper rather than a bang, as full customs duties on both these imported models proved a price shock for aspirants to the American icons. Now, maker Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is pinning its hopes on the Compass, which will be more affordable.

Now alerted to how price-sensitive this market is, FCA is doing everything to ensure that it is as cost-competitive as possible with the Compass, on which, according to Autocar, the manufacturer's future in India hinges.

Autocar further reports that Jeep is working on two more SUVs for the Indian market. The first one will be the Renegade codenamed as 526. The compact SUV will hit the Indian shores by the second half of 2019.

The Jeep Renegade was launched in the global market in 2015. The Indian market is expected to get the facelifted version of the SUV. The Renegade will rival the likes of Hyundai Creta when launched in India.

Reports say Jeep is also working on a sub-four metre SUV codenamed as 515, which is designed for the Indian conditions. It will also be launched in Brazil and Russia. But the automaker is yet to confirm the production of the SUV.

The challenge for Jeep is sourcing a diesel motor under 1.5 litres to benefit from the tax regime in India. One option could be downsizing Fiat's 1.6-litre or 2-litre engine, which is locally produced.

Joining the Compass in the second half of 2019 will be the Renegade, a smaller SUV that will be more of a Creta rival. Powering this small SUV will be the same 1.4 Multiair and 2.0 turbo-diesel engines. In the interest of model hierarchy, it is likely that the Renegade may get the lower-powered 140hp version of the diesel engine.

The Renegade, which was globally launched in 2015, will be almost halfway through its life cycle when it comes to India, and hence is expected with a facelift.

According to Autocar, FCA considered making serious design changes to the rather boxy, neo-retro shape to bring it more in line with Indian tastes, but this was deemed too expensive for the volume base here.

Though the Renegade will be cheaper than the Compass, it may not sell in higher numbers as it is in a far more competitive segment.

FCA's future in India ultimately depends on the Jeep's performance, as Fiat is not doing well in the country - so FCA must try to tap on to the growing utility vehicle segment in India.

Business History Videos

History of hovercraft Part 3...

Today I shall talk a bit more about the military plans for ...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of hovercraft Part 2...

In this episode of our history of hovercraft, we shall exam...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Hovercraft Part 1...

If you’ve been a James Bond movie fan, you may recall seein...

By Kiron Kasbekar | Presenter: Kiron Kasbekar

History of Trams in India | ...

The video I am presenting to you is based on a script writt...

By Aniket Gupta | Presenter: Sheetal Gaikwad

view more