MILAN -- Jeep is looking "very closely" at a possible vehicle smaller than its Renegade subcompact SUV, the brand's boss Mike Manley said.
The "baby" Jeep would be targeted at customers in Europe and other global markets where small vehicles sell well but not the U.S., Manley told reporters at the Detroit auto show this month.
This baby Jeep would shorter than 4000mm and could be produced in Jeep’s owner Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' factory in Pomigliano near Naples in Italy, according to a report in La Stampa, a newspaper partly owned by Exor, FCA's majority shareholder. FCA currently builds the Fiat Panda minicar in Pomigliano.
Supplier sources told Automotive News Europe that FCA has been discussing the possible production of a baby Jeep in Pomigliano since early 2017. Since then, this project suffered many stops and starts, the suppliers told ANE.
If built, the small Jeep would be based on FCA’s Mini platform, which underpins the Fiat Panda and 500 minicars, as well as the Lancia Ypsilon. The 500 and Ypsilon are produced in the Tychy plant in Poland. The next generation Fiat Panda, expected in 2020, will be moved to Poland from Italy.
“The Panda will migrate from Pomigliano around 2019-2020,” FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said at the 2017 Geneva auto show, adding that Pomigliano “can work on more complex cars than the Panda.”