Fiat India has confirmed that it would launch its Jeep brand in the country by late 2015. According to import/export website Zauba, the company has imported Jeep Cherokee in the country from UK for Research & Development purposes. The 5-seater Jeep Cherokee, being a mid-sized SUV, is positioned below the Grand Cherokee (India-bound) in Jeep's artillery.
Jeep would enter India with two products - Jeep Wrangler & Jeep Grand Cherokee. Both these hard-hitting SUVs would be sold in the country via CBU route. However, in 2016, the company plans an expansion by rolling out a locally manufactured “C-Segment” SUV, which is expected to give stiff competition to the segment leader Toyota Fortuner. The Jeep would build this global SUV completely in India in 2016, hence by, becoming a part of PM Narendra Modi's Make-in-India initiative. Also, speculations are also rife that the new Jeep C-segment SUV, which is expected to start production in 2016 would fill in the shoes of outgoing Patriot and Compass models. In addition, Jeep would also introduce the Cherokee facelift in 2016, internationally.
Coming back to the imported unit of the Jeep Cherokee, it has a 2.0L, 4-cylinder Multijet turbo diesel motor which pumps out two power outputs - 140 bhp and 170 bhp - with peak torque being 350Nm. Jeep offers the Cherokee SUV with an All-Wheel-Drive system, but the imported unit is a front-wheel-drive SUV. The reason behind the import of Cherokee in India can also be that the new C-segment SUV might take its designing and mechanical cues from this SUV. It is expected that both Jeep and Fiat India could indulge certain elements of the Cherokee in the all-new 2016 C-segment SUV rather than launching the actual SUV in the country.