Fiat initially had plans of starting Jeep sales in India late last year but decided to postpone the launch due to unfavourable economic conditions. Now the American-Italian firm has decided to bring Jeep vehicles to the country via the CKD route as the German rivals to the brand are all locally assembled. In 2015, both the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee will go on sale in the country while in 2016, a B-SUV and C-SUV will be launched. The B-SUV is the Renegade which was unveiled earlier this year and is already on sale in international markets.
Fiat Chrysler had earlier decided against bringing the Jeep Renegade to India but took a u-turn and decided to bet big on SUVs. However, the Fiat 500X which is the Renegade’s cousin, isn’t headed to our shores. Another Jeep vehicle which will come to India is the Cherokee, the vehicle that replaced the Liberty in the company’s lineup. Unlike the Grand Cherokee which rubs shoulders with the Mercedes ML-Class and BMW X5, the Jeep Cherokee will fight it out with the Toyota Fortuner, Honda CR-V and upcoming Ford Endeavour.
Now FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) has imported one unit of the Jeep Cherokee to India from the UK (import value of Rs. 23.78 lakhs). The model has been brought down for R&D purpose which could also mean evaluation for local assembly. The said vehicle is a 4×2 version with power being channelled to the front wheels. Equipped with a 2.0-litre Multijet II engine, the Cherokee diesel generates 170 HP and 350 Nm, matched to a 9-speed automatic gearbox. A lower tune of 140 HP is also available, coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission. The Jeep Cherokee is expected to be launched in 2016, priced at around Rs. 25 lakhs.