Jeep, the American automaker, has confirmed the introduction of a sub 4-meter SUV in the Indian market, which would be priced less than Rs. 10 Lakhs. It was Mike Manley, Jeep Boss, who officially revealed the same at the ongoing 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. The new SUV would be locally developed at the company's Ranjangaon production facility, while it would lock horns with Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster. In addition, Jeep is further exploring opportunities to colloaborate with Tata Motors on various other things such as engines, transmissions and platforms.
The mini SUV in currently in its drawing phase and upon its arrival, would be the entry-level vehicle in the company's line-up. Identical to the yet-to-be-launched Jeep Compass, it could be exported to the right-hand-drive markets from India. Mike Manley said that India is one of the “most critical” markets for Jeep as it looks at a greater and stronger push into emerging countries, including Brazil and China. The foremost reason behind the development of a sub 4-meter SUV is the lower excise taxes, which would subsequently result in price being extremely aggressive. As for joining hands with Tata, Manley said, "Our relationship with Tata Motors is good… I would be very open to discussions with Tata about opportunities where collectively we could win. Engines for sure, transmission for sure, various components for platforms for sure… They (Tata) have a significant industrial footprint. If there are other opportunities, I will certainly look at that.”
Adding further Manley told that the two autogiants “always talk to each other very regularly” and these discussions are “on a range of issues.” However, he turned a deaf ear to all the questions that asked, whether or not was he eyeing a partnership with Tata's luxury brand Jaguar Land Rover. Just so you know, Jeep would be introducing the Compass SUV by mid 2017, which would be the first company vehicle to roll out from the Ranjangaon manufacturing unit in India. It is expected to be priced between Rs. 15-20 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom), while taking on the likes of Hyundai Tucson, Toyota Innova Crysta and Skoda Yeti. Currently, the American automaker's portfolio in the Indian market comprises of Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. Both of the aforementioned SUVs are being sold as CBU and hence, are, priced extremely high.
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