Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) India today announced the launch of the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
FCA, which owns the Jeep brand globally, will bring the two models to India as direct imports (Completely Built Units). The company will add another vehicle to this line-up, an all-new, premium Jeep SUV, when local production starts at its Ranjangaon manufacturing facility, near Pune, next year.
Being full imports and CBUs, the four Jeep products for India bear stiff sticker tags. While the Wrangler Unlimited costs Rs 71.59 lakh, the Grand Cherokee Limited costs Rs 93.64 lakh and the Grand Cherokee Summit Rs 1.03 crore. The one with the maximum sticker price is the Grand Cherokee SRT Rs 1.12 crore (all prices ex-showroom Delhi).
The retro-styled Wrangler has been launched only in the long wheelbase ‘Unlimited’ trim, powered by a 2.8-litre diesel engine good for 200hp. The shorter, standard wheelbase Wrangler will not make it to India for now. The Wrangler Unlimited comes with a six-speed automatic gearbox and standard four-wheel drive with heavy duty solid axles and a lockable centre differential. Also part of the kit is a 6.5 inch U-Connect infotainment system.
The Grand Cherokee, the second model from Jeep, will, for now, be the mainstay for the Jeep brand in India. The Grand Cherokee comes in three trim levels – Limited, Summit and the high-powered Grand Cherokee SRT, which will also marks the debut of Jeep's ‘SRT’ performance brand in India.
The Grand Cherokee Limited and Summit variants draw power from a 240hp, 3.0-litre V6 diesel motor paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The Grand Cherokee diesel delivers 12.8kpl. The high-performance SRT uses a 475hp, 6.4-litre Hemi V8 petrol motor which also comes paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. All three variants come with a Quadratrack-2 four-wheel-drive system, with the SRT additionally getting high-performance Brembo brakes and active damping suspension.
All models are offered with an extended warranty and a comprehensive roadside assistance program.
While both the Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler currently come with diesel engines, Jeep will launch petrol-powered derivatives for both these models by November this year.
Speaking at the launch in Jaipur today, Kevin Flynn, president and managing director, FCA India, said, “Jeep pioneered the SUV segment and the concept of off-roading. The Jeep Wrangler is the most capable production 4x4 vehicle in the world and the luxurious Jeep Grand Cherokee, the most awarded SUV of all time. The launch of Jeep in India marks a double milestone in the history of the brand as this year we are also celebrating the 75th anniversary of Jeep worldwide.”
According to FCA India, the Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Grand Cherokee will be sold through 10 exclusive Jeep distribution outlets called Jeep Destination Stores, in nine Indian cities by the end of this year. While one has opened in Ahmedabad, it will be followed by one each in New Delhi and Chennai in September. The Mumbai outlet will open in October, along with a second outlet in New Delhi, both before Diwali, followed by Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Kochi and Bengaluru.
All-new Jeep model to be made in India, sharp focus on aftersales
While the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee mark Jeep's entry into India as CBUs, Jeep will locally manufacture a third model that will be launched next year. This new SUV, currently known as the Jeep C-SUV will likely get the ‘Jeep Compass’ moniker. FCA has invested US$ 280 million (Rs 1,878 crore) at its Ranjangaon facility for the production of this model.
The C-SUV is expected to be priced between Rs 13-20 lakh. Power is expected to be between 107hp and 122hp from a 1.5-litre Fiat Multijet diesel engine (a downsized version the international 1.6-litre engine) for the 2WD model. An all-wheel-drive version, powered by a larger 2.0-litre Multijet engine making 170hp, will also be offered
Commenting on the India business plan, Flynn said, “We have invested US$ 280 million in our facility at Ranjangaon, near Pune, to mobilise our localisation strategy. We are on track with our plans to manufacture and roll out an all-new, premium Jeep SUV from our plant in 2017. Aftersales too plays a significant role in our India strategy. With the launch of the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Grand Cherokee, we will set a strong foundation for all the aspects that will further strengthen our future in India.”
FCA says it has focussed on aftersales as one of its key drivers of growing business in India. For Jeep vehicles, the company has crafted innovative schemes that will give customers peace of mind and a satisfying Jeep ownership experience. The company will offer a two-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty as standard on both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Jeep Wrangler. The warranty will have international coverage and will be transferrable to the second owner.
There’s also Branded Jeep Assist, a 24/7 helpline and roadside assistance program which will cover the vehicles for a two-year, unlimited mileage period. Toll-free assistance will be provided 24/7 in case of accidents and breakdowns and additionally, customers will be provided with a return journey Business Class air ticket or a hotel stay.