Jeep global boss Mike Manley spoke to reporters from motoring.com.au at the Geneva Motor Show about the possibility of Jeep releasing a new SUV, smaller than the Renegade. “I have to say that one has moved on reasonably significantly,” he said. “You will probably have to wait until our big event in June when we talk about the next five years to see if it’s in the plan.”
Jeep and FCA have been toying with the idea of a truly compact SUV for a little while now. Since the Renegade is one of the largest small SUVs on the market at just over 167 inches long, there is space for an even smaller compact option in the Jeep lineup. While the Renegade is quite small for an American 4x4 already, in Europe and other parts of the world a compact American 4x4 would likely do very well. “The [sub-Renegade] Jeep has potentially universal appeal, also here [Europe] in particular,” Manley said. The sub-Renegade would be based on the FCA Mini Platform that the Fiat Panda and Fiat 500 are based on, and it would most likely be built at the FCA Pomigliano plant near Naples where the Panda is produced.
This news comes on the heels of several announcements from the Jeep Brand, which recently unveiled a seven-passenger Grand Commander for the Chinese market and a seven-passenger Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer for North America and potentially the global market. At the Geneva Motor Show Mike Manley also announced the launch of the Wrangler plug-in hybrid in Europe and potentially Australia.