Jeep’s B-segment SUV To Sit On X6H (Next-Gen Punto) Platform
Once confirmed by FCA, the sub-10 lakh SUV will be made in India, to rival Maruti Vitara Brezza and Ford EcoSport.
Under FCA, the Jeep brand is undergoing a massive transformation in the recent times. In an yet another move marking the brand’s entry into the mass-market B-segment, the idea of a compact SUV under INR 10 lakh range has been touted by Jeep, as per media reports. The new car, dubbed as ‘Jeep Junior’ or ‘Mini-Renegade’, will be the smallest model in the brand’s line-up, and will cater to the mass market buyers. Jeep India is also keen on positioning this car in the popular sub-4 metre compact SUV segment, with localized production at FCA’s Ranjangoan plant.
In all probability, the new tiny SUV is likely to be based on Fiat’s X6H platform that underpins the next-generation Punto hatch current on testing phase. This platform appears to perfectly cater to the requirements of the B-SUV including a longer wheelbase than present-day Punto, and hence the speculation. The X6H is a stretched version of Fiat’s ‘Economy – 326′ platform that also underpin the Brazilian-spec Palio and Siena models.
In all probability, the Jeep SUV is likely to be below 4-metres in length, therefore pricing can be little competitive. Yet, considering the premium tag of the brand, the SUV will be a notch higher than regular sub-4m SUVs. This SUV has a lot of scope in developing markets including Brazil and India, therefore manufacturing may also be localized at the two regional hubs to gain some leverage. As far as India is concerned, the scope of exports to the Asian region is a major advantage.
By mid-2017, the next-generation Jeep Compass will go on sale in India. It will be the first locally manufactured Jeep vehicle. A further expansion in FCA’s production facility and Jeep’s dealer network across the country will help the new B-SUV to hit huge sales numbers in the segment.