The benefit of having a variety of excellent brands in one group is the fact that several different models can be built using the same platform across different brands. Jeep is part of the FCA group which is made up of more than the few names we know in the US. With that in mind, there are rumors that there might be a Jeep model that’s built to be offered at the very bottom of the lineup in the European and Asian markets but won’t be offered in the US, which might be a bit of sacrilege.
This new Jeep model has no name yet, mostly because it hasn’t been approved or presented just yet. There will be a concrete decision make in June when FCA presents its new five-year business plan. At this meeting, the team will discuss how to build and where to build thisnew SUV that will make its way below the Renegade on the market for Jeep. The fact that FCA has both Fiat and Lancia under its umbrella just might make this an easy place to look for the next SUV to come from Jeep for the markets that are being targeted.
The current Mini platform, Fiat 500 lineup, and Lancia Ypsilon all make use of the same platform for these models to give us excellent small SUVs for the drive. There is room to put the Jeep name on the front of a model built on the same platform and offered in both Europe and Asia, where the congestion and smaller roads make these the right markets for such a vehicle to be offered. So far, this model makes sense for the offering that we’ll see in the future after its approved in June.
Why is this model sacrilege?
The Jeep name came about in the 1940s out of a need for the US Army. The vehicle that was built was originally called a GP which stood for General Purpose. Over time the G and P were mashed together to be pronounced Jeep, which eventually became the brand name and what we see on the market today. While the first model of the GP eventually became the Wrangler that we see today, there have been several different vehicles offered that wear Jeep on the front. It seems that every model offered with this badge should make its way to North America for the driving experience we want.
The fact is, the new Jeep Compass and current Jeep Renegade are probably as small as we want the Jeep brand to be in the US. We don’t need to have a model that slots below the Renegade in the US at all. While it makes little sense from a tradition aspect, there’s no reason for this new small Jeep to come to the US at all, but we might see it offered as a city-styled Jeep in the future. Either way, it seems we may continue to see smaller Jeep models offered for the drive around Europe and Asia if this new model is approved for production and sale.
Want a larger vehicle you can drive now? Opt for the Jeep Cherokee.