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We Hear: Jeep Considering Model Below Renegade for Emerging Markets

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/10/2015 Alex Nishimoto
We Hear: Jeep Considering Model Below Renegade for Emerging Markets

The new 2015 Jeep Renegade may not be the brand's "baby Jeep" for much longer. Rumors are circulating that an even smaller Jeep crossover is being considered for emerging markets and potentially others outside the U.S.

Australian outlet Motoring.com.au sat down with Adrian Van Campenhout, Jeep's chief of global product planning, at the launch of the Jeep Renegade in Australia, where the product boss said a new volume model could be necessary to reach the global sales goal of 1.9 million units by 2019 recently set by FCA head Sergio Marchionne. A sub-Renegade model wasn't in FCA's five-year plan that was presented last year.

Van Campenhout didn't deny that using the platform that underpins the Fiat Panda, a small, rugged crossover available in other markets, for the new Jeep model is a possibility. He also suggested a model based on a Brazilian platform could work.

Fiat Panda 4x4 front three quarter© Provided by MotorTrend Fiat Panda 4x4 front three quarter

"It's not just about what is in Turin, but what is available globally," Van Campenhout told Motoring.com.au. "We have some really good folks down in Brazil that do some fantastic low-cost platforms. So globally, the studies would necessitate considering all platforms and resources."

The product chief said the model is being considered because there are markets that "view the Renegade as a huge car" that's "ungodly expensive" in comparison to other available options. Thus, a crossover based on a less expensive platform from Brazil could make the most sense. However, Van Campenhout made it clear that such a model would have to live up to Jeep's high standards of ruggedness.

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Tire Burn Out On Sand 1© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk Tire Burn Out On Sand 1

"The fact is, if it says JEEP on it, it's gotta be a Jeep, right? I can't compromise on the brand values for something on one end of the spectrum and be able to sell these other glorious beasts at the other," he said.

Where might the sub-Renegade CUV be sold? Van Campenhout thinks India would be a "very suitable place" for it, but also says it could work in Australia, too. These latest admissions fuel speculation that began last year, when Jeep CEO Mike Manley said the brand was looking into a vehicle below the Renegade. Later, at the 2015 Detroit auto show, Manley told Autocar that sales growth in the subcompact crossover segment has been impressive, but that the company has yet to find a compelling case to build such a vehicle. However, Manley said "we have the know-how within the Group," pointing to models like the Fiat Panda Cross.

A Jeep representative couldn't comment on the possibility of a sub-Renegade model when contacted earlier today.

Related Link: Research the 2015 Jeep Patriot

Source: Motoring.com.au, Autocar

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