India will play an important role in the development of the upcoming baby Jeep
Posted on: Jan 18, 2013 - 6:12pm IST
In India, ‘small’ is our core competency. Our huge population and limited resources have taught us that small is beautiful.
The automotive market in India is no exception. Small cars and compact SUVs are ruling the roost. So when Chrysler wanted to develop the smallest Jeep ever made, they rung Fiat India for help.
The Fiat Group is investing 1 billion Euros in developing two new crossovers grounds up. First is the smallest Jeep ever made and another is the 500X, a compact SUV based on the 500L platform.
The automaker has a R&D set-up, Chrysler India Automotive Private Limited, in Chennai, which will help Chrysler develop the smallest Jeep, tentatively called ‘Jeepster’ or ‘Scamp’ according to a report on Business Standard.
The reason to call for India’s help is very simple. The booming compact SUV market is definitely ‘the place to be’ for the Jeepster in future. Thus, in order to be successful in India, it needs to be developed according to the Indian taste. Fiat India plans to conduct a massive market research from the next quarter to provide inputs to the parent company.
There are also plans to make Fiat India’s Ranjangaon plant an export hub for major right hand drive markets such as UK, Japan, Australia, South Africa. The RHD models of the future Fiats/Jeeps could be manufactured right here in Ranjangaon.
The Jeep brigade will start with Wrangler and Grand Cherokee this year, two iconic products in India. Future Jeep models slated for an India debut such as Patriot and Compass will be assembled in Ranjangaon.