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Jeep’s return to India

by David Zatz on

Jeep made its long-awaited return to India at the New Delhi Auto Expo today.  In mid-2016, Jeep will launch its Wrangler Unlimited, Grand Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee SRT.

FCA Jeep India

Over half a century ago, Willys licensed the Jeep design to a local company, and Mahindra continues to make light 4x4s that have evolved separately from the Jeep mainstream.

India is the fifth largest auto market in the world. Fiat and Chrysler were both popular in the country, through licensed designs, but Fiat Chrysler now has only a toe-hold on the market.

FCA is investing around $280 million into a joint venture with Tata Motors, the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, to create a plant in Ranjangaon. Local production of “a new Jeep” (possibly the  Compass replacement) is expected in 2017; in the meantime,  higher-end models, with both diesel and gasoline engines, will be imported.

india

The original product plan for India (shown above with the FCA executive in charge) was more aggressive, and would have had the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee already on sale, with local production of the latter as well as the Compass replacement already in place. Dodge and Chrysler would likely not be popular enough in India for large scale distribution, and only a small subset of the Fiat lineup is planned.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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