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Friday, October 21, 2016

Jeep Contemplating A More Affordable Entry-Level Small Crossover

Energized by the recently launched Compass and the success of the Renegade, #Jeep has its eyes set on yet another crossover, which will also be the most affordable of the range.

Set to rival vehicles such as the Ford Ecosport, the new model will sit below the Renegade and have a sub-4-meter long body, but despite its small dimensions, it won't shed its rugged, off-road heritage.

Speaking to Autocar on the sidelines of the 2016 Paris Auto Show last month, the brand's chief, Mike Manley, said it's "a viable segment for us in the future". As for a possible launch date, the Jeep exec said: "The reality is that we have to go through all of the usual business planning and process first."

This isn’t the first time that a smaller Jeep crossover has been brought into the discussion, as previous reports claimed that the company is planning a more affordable model for India. Codenamed '526', the small Jeep is said to sit at less than four meters long and is believed to borrow some of the design cues of the Renegade, but it’s unknown whether it will be aimed exclusively at the Indian market. The  crossover is expected to hit the assembly lines in Ranjangaon, where it will breath the same air with the Compass.

Besides a smaller model, Jeep's range of future products will also include a 3-row SUV called Grand Wagoneer, which will sit above the Grand Cherokee and could go after Land Rover's products.

"I don’t think that there is a maximum price ceiling for Jeep. If you look at the players that segment in the US, you have Range Rover, Mercedes and Porsche, but you also have the American players with vehicles like the Chevrolet Suburban", Manley said. "For me, Grand Wagoneer, if done well, will be able to play all the way through the bulk of that segment. Pushing the car up to $130-140,000 may be possible, but first we need to establish Grand Wagoneer."


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