Fiat will debut the Jeep brand in India at the 2016 Auto Expo in New Delhi. The iconic SUV brand was to enter the Indian market at an earlier stage, but various factors and poor market economy led to the delay.
Jeep will initially offer products through the Completely Built Unit(CBU) route. The SUV brand will then make use of Fiat India's facility, in Ranjangaon to locally assemble vehicles. Fiat is looking at expanding its facility and will be investing USD 280 million to accommodate Jeep.
The Grand Cherokee and Wrangler are two products that Jeep would launch in India during 2016. They will be following it up with the Jeep Renegade in 2017. Fiat India will be exploring options of commencing local assembly, which will lower prices and attract more buyers.
Jeep products will not be sold through Fiat's existing dealer network across India. The SUV brand will have its very own exclusive dealerships and service outlets. Customers will be provided with a premium purchase experience.
In India, Jeep will have to compete with Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Volvo. Pricing of Grand Cherokee and Wrangler will be critical in India. These SUVs will not sell high volumes if offered solely on brand image, they will need to have an edge over competitors.
Fiat India has already introduced its Abarth brand in the country. They now offer three products with the Abarth badge, which consist of the Abarth 595 Competizione, Abarth Punto and the Abarth Avventura models.