It’s the latest and smallest Jeep to date, but the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have nevertheless huge expectations from the recently introduced Renegade subcompact SUV.
According to Mike Manley, president of the Jeep brand, the model actually could hold the key to the unit’s forecasted global expansion, with FCA seeing Jeep as its worldwide flagship brand. That’s because Jeeps’ sales have tripled over the past half a decade thanks to investments and the revitalization and refreshment of the model range. Actually, many were surprised by last January’s initial five-year plan set up by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne – who eyed Jeep brand sales totaling one million units globally last year. While observers even saw the goal as an impossible achievement, the FCA CEO has already crossed that off the “to do” list and stepped up the game to 1.8 million units by 2018.
“The Renegade will play a very important role in our global expansion,” believes Manley, with the model being a new product in the portfolio – which was unchanged for many years. The small crossover – a rugged product that shares its platform with the more urban-stylish Fiat 500X – is scheduled for production in Italy and Brazil, showcasing the brand’s first important expansion of the industrial footprint outside the US. Launched into one of the fastest rising global auto segments, the Renegade’s transition to worldwide status will be complete by the end of the year, when Jeep will have its first China factory completed and ready for production.