Fiat Chrysler plans to introduce a new tiny Jeep targeted for European and South American markets.
Fiat is up to something, and it might be a new, tiny Jeep. A Baby Jeep, if you will.
You might think that such a vehicle is already the Jeep Renegade, the tiniest SUV that Jeep makes and based on the same platform as the Fiat 500X. Well, think even smaller than that. This is a subcompact SUV to appeal to places that really like their tiny cars, such as Europe and Latin America.
According to CEO Mike Manley, who spoke with Autocar last March, FCA has great interest in downsizing their smallest SUV. “A smaller car than the Renegade is very interesting to us and we are actively looking at the project now.”
And now it seems that FCA is moving to make their Baby Jeep a reality. According to Automotive News, the Baby Jeep is going to be made in the same factory that currently makes the Fiat Panda in Pomigliano, Italy. The Panda is a top seller for Fiat in Europe, which lends credence to the theory that the new Baby Jeep will share the same platform.
As it’s still very early in development we don’t know much else about the Baby Jeep other than it is highly unlikely to come to the United States and equally unlikely to go to China. Apparently, the Chinese market for subcompact SUVs is dominated by domestic brands, and FCA doesn’t see much chance of making any inroads there.
In other Fiat news, the brand itself is down to just two vehicles after the cancellation of the Punto hatchback: the 500 series of subcompacts as well as the best-selling Panda. The factory that previously made the Punto will now be switched over to making the Jeep Compass, which marks the first time the Compass will be made in Europe alongside the Jeep Renegade.
In order to revitalize Alfa Romeo and Maserati, FCA will introduce a larger Alfa SUV than the Stelvio, while luxury-focused Maserati gets the Alfieri GT. That’s not expected to hit the road until 2020 at the absolute earliest, however, leaving plenty of time for Maserati’s fortunes to get worse before they get better.