Before the launch of the updated Compass last month, Jeep had announced its plans for the future in India. Jeep made it very clear that it is planning a ton of launches over the next two years. Having already launched the new Compass earlier, the 7-seater version of the Compass is already on the cards. Jeep also announced the local assembly of its most iconic off-roader ever, the Wrangler. The next luxury SUV in line is the Grand Cherokee. These are all luxury vehicles and not volume-oriented. The more accessible Jeeps will be compact SUV, rivaling the likes of Sonet and Venue. Finally, some details about the upcoming compact SUV from Jeep have been revealed. Let us take a look at what to expect from a compact Jeep.
Jeep – Compact SUV – What to expect?
Jeep had hinted that it will bring a compact SUV in India very soon. The Compass did not bring in volumes that Jeep might have expected and hence, it decided to enter the most popular and fastest-growing segment in India, the compact SUV segment. For this, it will make use of the CMP (Common Modular Platform), which will be heavily localized. The important detail to consider here is that this platform doesn’t support a 4×4 drive system. This is a very important detail, considering the off-roading DNA of Jeep as a brand. Will they move away from their DNA to chase the sales numbers in India or will they make use of some other platform that supports the 4×4 system but will be expensive than the rivals. So, it’s a bit of a decision that Jeep will have to make.
On the powertrain front, the Jeep might utilize the petrol powertrain which will be offered on the Citroen compact SUV as well. Citroen has announced that it will have no diesel powertrains or the mass product like the C21. Therefore, the compact SUV from Jeep might come with a petrol-only 1.2-litre turbocharged engine. Whether it becomes a reality or not, however, remains to be seen.
Jeep – Compact SUV Rivals
The compact SUV from Jeep might be based on CMP, which will also underpin the upcoming compact SUV from Citroen (codenamed C21). The most interesting and exciting part about this architecture is that it will feature 90% localization. This is the key factor in determining the performance and success of any car in India. If Jeep doesn’t price it competitively enough, it might well suffer the same fate as the Compass, which has been facing declining sales for a long time now. Especially when the competition is so tough, with Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, you need to take every single aspect into consideration, otherwise, the customers have a ton of options.
Jeep also had announced earlier that it will launch 4 products in the next two years which did not include a compact SUV. Therefore, the only way to making this a reality is to tie-up with Citroen to provide the powertrains for Jeep to operate.