Jeep plans India foray
Fiat to launch American 4x4 marque next year
Yes, you read that right! If you’ve been the old-time Willy’s Jeep fan and longed for that proper hard-core experience, then continue reading this.
American 4x4 maker, Jeep, will announce its plans for India next month. Famous for its Wrangler and Grand Cherokee models, the Chrysler-owned marque is looking East in a big way even as it faces tough times back home. Alongwith China, India is top on its agenda considering our love for SUVs. Most likely to be sold initially as completely-built-up units, the vehicles will be retailed through Fiat-only dealerships, which the company is working on expanding big time.
And the cars? Currently there are five models in Jeep’s stable – starting with the Patriot (approx Rs 18 lakh), Compass (Rs 22 lakh), Liberty (Rs 26 lakh) and the flagship Grand Cherokee (in the pic below) and Wrangler (pic above) Unlimited (Rs 30-32 lakh). In all likelihood, Jeep will start its Indian innings with its flagship models. But the Patriot with its more attractive price is something, we feel, Jeep should consider too. All three are quite capable off-road with the Grand Cherokee being a much better on-road drive too. In the US, the Wrangler is also available in a shorter wheelbase and soft-top version.
More than a decade ago, there were rumours of Mahindra bringing in the Jeep Grand Cherokee as a direct import but things never materialised. Watch this space.