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Chennai chief: “It will be a true Jeep.”

by David Zatz on

Indian Autos Blog recently interviewed  Nagesh Basavanahalli, Managing Director of Chrysler India Automotive Private Limited (which includes the Chennai, India technical center, with around 1,000 employees). The facilities were set up in 2007, under Cerberus. Full interview and a rundown on Jeep and Fiat in India today.

Mr. Basavanahalli said that the Chennai technical center had played a major role in both the 2011 and 2014 Grand Cherokee, in the development of various components, particularly in the interior and electrical system; and that they now had “around 60% of the workload for  computer simulation.”

Regarding the upcoming “B-SUV,” Basavanahalli said that they did not have a name settled yet, but it would be “a brand new platform, and because the work is just beginning and a lot of the things are on the drawing board, I would not like to get into the details. … The Jeep platform is very special to us. The Jeep customer has unique tastes: go anywhere, do anything, be available. Right? So taking a look at the global requirements of the Jeep, because it’s going to be a global product, it’s going to be done up for several parts of the world. Obviously it’s also going to be brought into India, but [meeting] unique Indian requirements.

“The way we do that cycle is we take a look, okay, these are the requirements from several parts of the world. It goes in. And then there is a core design that comes out. And then we also say okay, what are the things that we need to do to satisfy the Indian customer more or the European customer more, right? So it may get done afterwards. So we’re looking at several options in terms of the platform. But the bottom line is it will be a true Jeep. It will be a Jeep, and it will be on the right platform.”

2013 Jeep Wrangler Tenth Anniversary Rubicon

In addition, with regards to the Jeep Wrangler, Basavanahalli said, “It’s our pillar because it stands for everything. It’s one anchor of the brand, right? So we will continue to protect that product, right? To your point also [regarding visual similarity with the inexpensive Mahindra line], I think we all know which is the original. So we know the capability, we know the capacity, we know what the product can do. And we feel when customers take a look at the product, I think they will make the right decision.”

IndianAutosBlog storyFull interview and a rundown on Jeep and Fiat in India today

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