The new Jeep C- segment SUV will replace the Jeep Compass and Patriot models, and will slot between the Renegade and the Cherokee. The Economic Times states that this SUV will be manufactured in India for domestic as well as export markets like South Africa, U.K. and Australia (right-hand drive markets). The company has put a plan in motion to invest INR 1,500-2,500 crores to make this SUV in India, possibly at a new manufacturing line at the Tata-Fiat joint venture plant in Ranjangaon, Maharashtra.
Sources told the newspaper that development work has already started and the car is codenamed M6 or 556. Production is slated to start in late 2016, and the SUV will be priced at about INR 20-25 lakhs in the domestic market. Fiat is expected to make an announcement regarding this shortly, as the company was waiting for the Fiat-Chrysler merger to complete.
India is gradually transforming itself from a manufacturing hub for small cars into a base for the entire range of vehicles as companies including Renault-Nissan and Volkswagen have exported mid-sized sedans and compact SUVs to global markets from the country. As per the Economic Times, the C-segment Jeep SUV is expected to be priced at Rs 20-25 lakh in the domestic market and will be produced in "tens of thousands".
Apart from the completely localised C-segment Jeep, Fiat Chrysler is also said to be working on a modular platform 326, which will churn out replacements for Punto and Linea cars in the next two to three years under the Fiat brand. However, the Italian carmaker's volumes in the Indian market remain a matter of major concern, according to these people, who said the company is hoping that export volumes along with new models will help the brand make a comeback in the country.