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Jeep places sub-4m SUV plans on maintain | Autocar India

Written by Rashmi

Jeep is dealing with difficulties balancing value with capabilities for its compact SUV; India might get next-gen Renegade.

Launching a small SUV is proving to be a tricky nut to crack for Jeep India. Just a few years in the past, the American off-road specialist toyed with the thought of launching the Renegade in India, however a enterprise case for its smallest SUV proved to be tough again then.

In 2018, its international product plan (see picture) additionally revealed its intention to enter the A/B phase under the Renegade, and early final 12 months, FCA India president and managing director Partha Datta advised us he was laser-focused on getting the sub-four-metre Jeep to the Indian market.”

Now although, plans for Jeep’s smallest SUV but seem like on ice. In a current interplay with the media, Christian Meunier, the CEO of Jeep, mentioned “We’re nonetheless finding out it [sub-4m SUV], doesn’t imply it’s by no means going to occur, however we have to do it in the fitting method. As I mentioned, we’re not going to take a hatchback and make it appear like a Jeep.”  Thus, for now it seems a sub-4m Jeep for India is unlikely.

Jeep sub-4m SUV: value vs functionality

Constructing a small SUV isn’t a problem for an organization like Jeep. In reality, the European and South American markets might see a junior Jeep under the Renegade. It’s the Indian market that could be a large problem the place the fitting value versus functionality stability is proving not possible to attain. And that is as a result of Jeep has at all times been steadfast in its intention to at all times have a 4×4 choice for its whole vary, even for its smallest fashions.

Engineering a compact Jeep to have 4×4 functionality could be very pricey and clearly not viable within the price-sensitive sub-4m phase. “It’s a dream to have a sub-4m mannequin for India that could be a true Jeep, that’s value aggressive and that may earn a living,” says Meunier.

Even utilizing a low-cost 2WD platform like Citroen’s CMP – one thing that was being thought-about – would show to be a problem as a result of the one strategy to make a 4×4 could be by including an electrical rear axle, one thing Jeep has executed with some Compass variants. However once more, for the Indian market, the price of the motor and batteries would push the worth far past what clients could be keen to pay.

Again to the Renegade

So, whereas an answer to the sub-4m SUV dilemma is but to be discovered, it doesn’t rule out a smaller-than-Compass SUV in India. The present Renegade could have proved to be a tough match, however the next-generation automobile might be a much better proposition for our market.

One of many points with launching the present Renegade was that it was already in the direction of the tip of its life cycle and a brand new one was attributable to arrive in 2022; this now means Jeep India can get a contemporary begin with a brand-new product. Moreover, the debut of the new-generation automobile has additionally been pushed again a bit attributable to COVID-19 associated delays, thus permitting time for the FCA-PSA merger to streamline its operations in India, one thing the corporate is at the moment tied up with.

Additional bettering the prospects for the new-generation Renegade is the truth that it’s anticipated to hold on with the corporate’s identical ‘Small Broad 4X4’ platform because the earlier automobile, which itself is intently associated to the Compass’ ‘Small Broad LWB 4X4’ platform that’s already being inbuilt India. What’s extra, the brand new Renegade can also be anticipated to be powered by the brand new 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine that we all know shall be launched in India on the Meridian and the Compass. So, as issues pan out, it seems that placing the sub-4m SUV on ice might nearly imply the Renegade plans get to thaw out properly.

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Rashmi