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More SUVs expected from FIAT

Having tasted success with the mid-size premium JEEP North American SUV specialist Chrysler has confirmed its plan to launch a sub-4 metre SUV and a three row mid-size SUV in the Indian market to widen its consumer base.

The sub-4 metre SUV will take on the likes of Suzuki Vitara and Ford EcoSport, while the three row SUV will sit above the existing Jeep Compass and may take on Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavor.

ET had reported in September of 2016 that Fiat Chrysler is exploring the sub-4 metre SUV segment in India coinciding with its launch.

The new model launch is likely to happen only post 2020-21, and till then the company will rely on more CKD options including variants on the Compass SUV to sustain the momentum. The company is likely to get electrification option across all variants and some of that may get translated into as the Indian government too is pushing for cleaner mobility solutions. The company has sold over 23,000 Jeep Compass models in India and exported 8,000 units since its launch to Australia, UK, Japan, Singapore amongst other markets.

The company has already generated close to $700 million in revenue, which is more than double of its investment made at the Ranjangaon factory. It is apparent that Jeep brand will be the key driving force for the future in India as Fiat Chrysler Automobile begins its plans of reducing focus on the mass market with the Fiat brand across the world.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile informed the investor fraternity on Friday on the Jeep brands’ five years roadmap plan, which foresees India to play a key role of exporting vehicles to right hand drive market.

The Ranjangaon joint venture facility of Fiat India Automobile with Tata Motors on the outskirts of Pune has turned into a major right hand drive export hub. The company informed that the capacity at the facility has grown 1.5 times since the end of 2017.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile expects the SUV market to outpace the overall market growth in India and sub-4 SUVs will continue to dominate the domestic market space, stated the presentation from the company.

Citing IHS Markit, Fiat Chrysler believes the SUV market in India is likely to double to 1.6 million units by 2022.