Fiat India and SUV giant Jeep will have opportunities: Automative Careers

jeep-careersFiat India wants to take the top down approach with the American SUV brand Jeep. The Italian automaker will launch two Jeep SUVs by 2013 end. The 2 SUVs are the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee. Both SUVs will target different kinds of buyers. The Grand Cherokee is a luxury SUV that will be priced over 30 lakh rupees. The Wrangler should be priced much lower, at under 25 lakh rupees.

The Grand Cherokee will be a luxurious high riding vehicle and the Wrangler will be the get–down-and-dirty SUV kinds. Off roading fans and yuppies who want to be seen in macho SUVs could be the major customers of the Wrangler, which is an SUV that is known for its off road manners. Both vehicles will use diesel engines as standard.

Fiat India’s MD, Nagesh Basavanahalli, has said that the company is monitoring the US dollar-Indian rupee exchange rate and based on this, Fiat will take a call on assembling the Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee in India. In the beginning, both these SUVs will be imported through the CBU route. Fiat has planned to focus on 10 big Indian cities for exclusive Jeep dealerships. These dealerships will sell only Jeep products. Fiat India’s independent showrooms will continue to sell Fiat cars while Abarth dealerships will focus on the Abarth high performance cars.

Why does Fiat want to set up separate dealerships for the Jeep brand?

Two Jeep compact SUVs will be launched in India, in 2015 and 2016. The Jeep B segment SUV will be a EcoSport challenger while the other Jeep C segment SUV will be a rival to the Mahindra XUV500 and Tata Safari Storme. The Jeep B and C segment SUVs will be built at Fiat India’s Ranjangaon factory. We expect heavy local sourcing and competitive pricing for these new SUVs from Jeep.

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