Jeep has been toying with the idea of offering a smaller than the Renegade model for quite some time now, and the time of finding out whether it will actually happen is approaching.
Jeep plans to announce their next five-year plan on June 1, on FCA’s special event that will include five-year plans for the rest of FCA’s brands, including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Maserati and Ram.
If it receives the green light, the new small Jeep will be offered as the entry point in their range, sitting below the current Renegade.
“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 to Autocar.
The carmaker wants to take advantage of the current market trends that favor compact SUVs in certain regions. “We’ve seen the general move in Europe towards smaller SUVs, and there could also be a market in Latin America,” Manley added.
Jeep however isn’t planning to offer the new model in China, where demand for smaller SUVs is more focused on domestic brands that offer strong value for money, according to the company’s CEO. The US market is also out of the question, according to previous reports.
The new baby Jeep will most likely use the same architecture with the next-generation Fiat Panda, following the example of the Renegade sharing its platform with the Fiat 500X. If that’s the case, Jeep will develop its own body and interior and use the running gear of the Fiat Panda 4×4.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne might even announce the name of his successor, as he’s going to retire at the end of the year.