Only two years after its original target date, Jeep has started to sell Wranglers and Grand Cherokees in India, home of over a billion people.

FCA Jeep India

The plan appears to be the same as in 2013, other than the timing: once the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee start to sell (for up to triple their US price), establishing high-end credentials for the brand, cheaper, locally built Jeeps will start being sold and exported. The local production is part of a joint venture with Tata Motors, which owns Jaguar and Land Rover (Suzuki may have been a better choice, but it was tied up with Volkswagen when the deals were made). The low-line should include the Renegade and next-generation Compass, and might eventually also include a mini (“A” size) vehicle.

india

Jeep’s plan is to hit ten major urban areas first, focusing on acquiring a premium image rather than high volumes. Mahindra & Mahindra, decades ago a Jeep licensee, makes CJ descendants that look similar to the Wrangler, but are far smaller — much closer to the size of the original CJ. Mahindra’s vehicles are hitting a different part of the market: the Wrangler Unlimited is to start at over $100,000, and the diesel Grand Cherokee Limited will exceed that amount. Based on a  story in Automotive News which was based on a story (we could not find) in theIndia Times.