Last month was a big-time when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and PSA Group joined hands to give rise to a new company called Stellantis. The newly created group has 14 brand cars under its roof, making Stellantis the fourth largest automotive group in the world. This integration is found in India too with Fiat, Jeep and Citroen brands making their presence in a limited yet qualitative manner.
Stellantis seems to have no plans to get back with Fiat which was discontinued by FCA in 2019, rather it is planning to focus on Citroen and Jeep. While FCA has been delaying the launch of a compact SUV, Stellantis has plans of developing these ideas.
Jeep Compact SUV: challenges
Compass is the midsize SUV under Jeep in India whose price range falls between Rs. 16.99 – 28.99 lakhs in India. While FCA had plans of launching the Indian version of Renegade, several hindrances like the requirement of re-engineering, bringing down the length to 4-metres and heavy localization were the reasons for dropping the plan.
For the sake of ‘small car’ tax benefits, there were also plans to reduce Fiat’s in-house 1.6 diesel to 1.5 litres with the help of Tata and Maruti but even that seemed to drop off. FCA is also on the constant search for finding a reliable petrol engine for Renegade. The Euro specific Renegade with the 118hp, 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbo-petrol and sub-1.2-liter cubic capacity would categorize as a small car but then the investment is an issue to bring it to India.
Ford’s 1.0 ecosport was dropped from Ecosport on account of heavy taxation on high-tech direct-injection turbo-petrol engines which is also the same reason for dropping off the plan for Renegade.
Citroen compact SUV: A possible solution
A compact SUV coded C21 is the second in the line of Citroen’s and the first mainstream automobile in India built using PSA’s Common Modular Platform (CMP).
PSA and Indian partner Avtech have set up a plant in Hosur, Tamil Nadu in order to achieve the production of 90% parts along with engines using local sources. C21 has been manufactured and designed to meet every hurdle and give a striking competition to the Maruti Vitarra Breza. The plant in Hosur has been set up so as to produce more than 15,000 engines per month.
Jeep can now be a reality considering the C21 platform essentially offering re-engineered design with effective cost inputs. FCA India’s president and managing director, Partha Datta, confirmed that the Jeep compact SUV will use the CMP architecture.
What can be seen is, Jeep has announced the launch of four models after the integration of Stellantis. Jeep sharing its platform with Citroen would definitely provide a smacking competition to existing sub-four-meter SUV segment. The main competitors would be Toyota Urban Cruiser, Mahindra XUV300, Tata Nexon, Maruti Vitara Brezza and the Ford EcoSport.
Also see – New Jeep Compass Vs Tata Harrier
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