Jeep is looking "very closely" at the possible vehicle smaller than its Renegade subcompact crossover, the brand's boss Mike Manley said.
The "baby" Jeep might be aimed towards customers in Europe as well as other global markets where small vehicles sell well and not the U.S., Manley told reporters in the Detroit auto show this month.
This baby Jeep could be produced in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' factory in Pomigliano near Naples in Italy, depending on a report in La Stampa, a newspaper partly owned by Exor, FCA's majority shareholder. FCA currently builds the Fiat Panda minicar in Pomigliano.
Supplier sources told Automotive News Europe that FCA is discussing the potential output of an infant Jeep in Pomigliano since early 2017. Subsequently, this project suffered many stops and starts, the suppliers told ANE.
If built, small Jeep will be according to FCA’s Mini platform, which underpins the Fiat Panda and 500 minicars, in addition to the Lancia Ypsilon. The 500 and Ypsilon are designed within the Tychy plant in Poland. Generation x Fiat Panda, expected in 2020, will likely be relocated to Poland from Italy.
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“The Panda will migrate from Pomigliano around 2019-2020,” FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said for the 2017 Geneva auto show, adding that Pomigliano “could work on more complex cars in comparison to the Panda.”
The necessity for one in order to change the Panda in Pomigliano is among the drivers behind the business case for a Jeep smaller than the 4260mm (168 in.)-long Renegade, together with the Europeans’ growing appetite for small urban SUVs.
At prices starting from 20,000 euros for two-wheel drive and from 27,500 for your four-wheel-drive version in Germany, the Renegade is Jeep’s cheapest model. FCA sells in Europe a 4wd version Panda Cross with SUV touches. It\’s 3700mm (146 in.) long and starts at 16,000 euros in Germany. To date the sole other SUVs under 4000mm (157 in.) in Europe will be the Suzuki Jimmy and Ignis, with all the Ford Ecosport slightly longer at 4100mm (161 in).
One on the problems to unravel prior to a car gets approved for production was underlined by Manley within a 2016 interview with Autocar. Jeep’s offering for the reason that class would “still need be capable” and also have the brand’s go-anywhere DNA.
A decision around the project could are available June, when FCA can have the 2018-2022 plan.
FCA and Jeep declined to comment.
"FCA could be in close proximity to decision on 'baby' Jeep for global markets" originally appeared in Automotive News on 1/24/2018