Jeep brand head, Mike Manley has said that India is one of the most crucial markets for Jeep success in the upcoming markets like China and Brazil. To drive deeper into these markets, Jeep is planning to build their smallest Jeep yet, with a price tag around Rs 10 lakh. Fiat-Chrysler, Jeep’s parent company, might be looking to extend its long-time relationship with Tata to help them build one.
Despite the sales joint venture fiasco between Tata and Fiat, the Fiat-Tata relationship is going strong in manufacturing where the two companies share the car making facility in Ranjangaon. Mike Manley said that Jeep was open to explore opportunities with their long-time partner Tata Motors especially for engines and transmissions as well as the Indian giant’s expertise in low-cost manufacturing.
The new mini SUV that is still on the drawing board might be a sub-four metre car. It is believed to be an EcoSport/Vitara Brezza competitor not only in terms of size, but also in terms of pricing. With the GST coming in next year, it is not certain if the sub-four metre small cars will continue to get tax sops. In case they don’t, it will be natural for Jeep to build a Renault Duster/Hyundai Creta rival. Jeep can then price this new SUV aggressively below the Jeep Compass that should ideally carry a price tag between Rs 18-23 lakh ex-showroom in India.
Edit: About two months ago we had brought to you a detailed analysis as to why the Jeep brand is not over priced in India. The statements by Mike Manley regarding the Jeep pricing for India serves to validate our analysis of their strategy and you can read about it here.