Yes. Fiat has broken a lot of promises by not sticking to its timeline. And this new announcement is going to break some more! In their product roadmap for India back in Dec 2012 (pictured below), Fiat has announced Jeep’s entry into India in the second half of 2013.
However, reports of its delay started making waves towards the start of this year. And now, in the latest product sheet shown to investors recently, it gets cleared that Jeep will only be launched in India in 2015, that is till they release another product sheet which annuls all the previous announcements. That is a delay of 2 years! Our question is – why to create hullabaloo if you do not have a good track record of keeping promises?
Nonetheless, there are a few points worth noting here. Going by the sheet, Fiat Chrysler will launch Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, which are their flagship, as the first two products. Interestingly, while the Wrangler is marked for a direct import, the Grand Cherokee will be locally produced. This is a little confusing actually.
In the US and other markets, Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s premium-most model over Wrangler. By locally producing Grand Cherokee, they will reap significant excise duty benefits on it, however, the Wrangler, owing to be an import, will attract ridiculous taxes, which may just hint that in India, Jeep may (just M-A-Y) position it (Wrangler) as a more pricier option.
Apart from these two, Jeep has also listed C-SUV which is, in all probability, the controversial Cherokee which will be launched here in 2016. Following the Cherokee will be the all-new models of both Wrangler and Grand Cherokee in 2017.
This brings us to another heart-breaker! FCA has not listed the B-SUV which it promised for India. The B-SUV is the Renegade which has been unveiled very recently. This means, if Fiat sticks to this product roadmap, India will NOT get the Renegade, at least till 2018.
This update may not really be very cheerful for Jeep fans who were waiting for their SUVs but at least we have a date (okay a year) to look out for…