Jeep intends to widen its reach across all SUV segments with a new seven-seater SUV and also a compact SUV and they are expected to hit the market by 2020-21.
Although Jeep has three SUVs in its stable here in India, it is the Jeep Compass which has been doing wonders for the brand. The Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler are imported to India but the locally manufactured Compass is the favorite of the lot. However, Jeep wants more than a one-hit wonder and they have two new SUVs up their sleeves – one being compact SUV and the other being a seven-seater SUV based on the Compass.
The new B-segment compact SUV will be positioned below the Compass and will essentially be a sub-4m model, made to take on the fierce rivalry that’s going on in this segment. This sub-4m SUV will again widen the price band that Jeep operates in, just like the Compass did for them. It has been codenamed the Jeep 526 and will be smaller than the current renegade. It will likely share its platform with the next-gen Fiat Panda 4×4.
Jeep is also working on a seven-seater D-segment SUV that will be positioned above the Compass. Likely to be called the Jeep Grand Compass, it will share a lot of components with the Compass. Also, it will be a monocoque-bodied three row SUV that is meant to rival the Skoda Kodiaq and the Honda CR-V. It will also perhaps pull buyers from the ladder-frame bodied Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour.
Both these new SUVs will of course come with Jeep’s off-roading DNA. They will have a proper 4×4 drivetrain and will be able to go off the beaten path. Even the baby Jeep SUV will still be capable off-road and that, Jeep says will be one of their USPs in the crowded compact SUV segment. The Jeep seven-seater SUV will of course come with all the mechanical hardware to make it a true Jeep. You can also expect a lot of premium features and technology to keep them positioned as a premium brand.
Just like the compass, these two new SUVs will be manufactured here in India at the brand’s facility in Ranjangaon, Pune. It will also be exported from here. The new Jeep compact SUV and seven-seater SUV will widen Jeep’s range in the Indian market and allow them to operate at all levels of the SUV segment which includes the compact segment, the mid-size segment where they already have the Compass and also the full-size, three row SUV segment. These SUVs are expected to hit the market by 2020-2021.
Meanwhile, Jeep is working on updating their engines to meet the BS-VI compliance norms. They just launched the Compass Trailhawk some time ago and that already comes with a BS-VI engine. The next-gen Wrangler is also slated to launch soon in India and the automaker is also likely to introduce the diesel automatic version of the Compass towards the end of this year or probably in the first half of 2020.