American-Italian automobile giant Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' (FCA) subsidiary Jeep is known for its off-road-friendly sports utility vehicles (SUV). The American brand has an entry-level SUV named the Renegade and it is mulling yet another pint-sized SUV now.
The proposal regarding the new mini SUV is currently on FCA's table and the management will take a final call before June, reports said. The new SUV will be positioned below the Renegade SUV and hence it will be the new entry point of Jeep SUV range. Multiple reports claimed that Jeep's mini SUV would be based on the Fiat 500 and Panda platform.
The Fiat 500 and Panda are based on the Fiat Mini (FM) platform and the frame makes heavy use of high-strength steel and is suitable for front-engine and front-wheel-drive vehicles. This platform offers go-kart like driving dynamics. In that case, upcoming Jeep SUV will also boast superior handling package.
On the sidelines of 88th Geneva International Motor Show early in March, Jeep's global boss Mike Manley has confirmed that a sub-four-meter Jeep might be their next stop. "You will probably have to wait until our big event in June when we talk about the next five years to see if it's in the plan," Motoring.com quoted Manley as saying.
The new Jeep small SUV could be manufactured at FCA's Pomigliano plant near Naples, Italy. Meanwhile, a spin-off version of the same SUV based on the Renegade platform is also expected for price-sensitive markets like India.
The SUV version for the emerging markets is likely to be manufactured at FCA's Ranjangaon manufacturing unit in Maharashtra. Rumors that Jeep India would come up with a sub-Compass SUV have been doing the rounds for a very long time. Once launched, the new small SUV from Jeep would go up against the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, and Ford EcoSport at sub Rs 10 lakh SUV space.