The new model will seat beneath the Renegade in Jeep's range
A new small Jeep model is in the product planning pipeline for a possible launch in the next five years.
The compact-sized Jeep would become the entry point into the Jeep range and be priced below the Renegade, suggesting a starting price of around £15,000.
“A smaller car than the Renegade is very interesting to us and we are actively looking at the project now,” said Jeep CEO Mike Manley.
Jeep could spin the new small model off the Renegade platform, which is also used by the Fiat 500X, but its compact dimensions are likely to demand a new, lighter platform.
“We’ve seen the general move in Europe towards smaller SUVs, and there could also be a market in Latin America,” added Manley.
The new car is unlikely to be sold in China, however. Manley says demand in China for smaller SUVs is focused on domestic brands, which offer strong value for money.
The platform strategy at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) suggests that the small Jeep would share its platform with a Fiat model, with the next-generation Panda city car a possible contender.
The obvious route to market is for Jeep to develop its own body and interior on the running gear of the next-generation Panda 4x4.
Details are expected to be revealed on 1 June in Jeep’s next five-year plan, for 2018-2023, which will be one of the items in a major FCA business announcement.
Another possible announcement on 1 June could be Marchionne’s replacement if he retires at the end of 2018, as he has previously planned.