Renegade to Lead Jeep’s Global Expansion

Jeep’s Manley expects big results from little Jeep.

by on Jan.20, 2015

The Jeep Renegade - shown here at its Geneva debut - will be a critical piece of FCA's global focus.

The new Jeep Renegade holds the key to the brand’s global expansion.

Mike Manley, president of the Jeep brand, said that Jeep sales have tripled during the past five years expanded by revitalizing and renewing the existing product portfolio. The sales growth surprised many observers who thought it was unlikely or even impossible for Jeep to sell 1 million vehicles, the target set out in the first five-year plan laid out by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne last January.

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The Renegade, however, represents a genuine expansion of Jeep portfolio, Manley said. It also represents Jeep’s coming of age as a true global brand.

“The Renegade will play a very important role in our global expansion,” he added.

The Renegade will be offered with a wide variety of powertrains - and a Trailhawk off-road model.

Under FCA’s new five year-plan, Jeep will lay the foundation for its global expansion in the future. The new Renegade will be built in Italy and in Brazil and represents the first major expansion of Jeep’s industrial footprint outside the United States, Manley added.

Manley also said the all-new 2015 Jeep Renegade marks the brand’s first entry in the small sport-utility vehicle segment and offers a combination of fuel efficiency as well as the off-road capability long associated with Jeep name. The Renegade was introduced in Europe and Jeep has sold 8,500 units by the end of December.

“We think it’s very positive,” he added. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive back.”

The Renegade launch in Brazil is set for early spring and Jeep will also add a new plant in China before the end of 2015. The Renegade also is launching into one of the fastest growing segments in the global auto industry, Manley said.

(Marchionne throws down Jeep sales gauntlet: 1.9 million. For more, Click Here.)

Currently, there are roughly 2 million small SUVs sold around the world and the Renegade with its 101.2-inch wheelbase, 60.6-inch track and 166.6-inch overall length, fits neatly into the segment. The Renegade also contains 118.6 cubic feet and 7.9 inches of ground clearance for off-road travel.

Manley noted the segment is expected to grow to 3 million units by 2020, while FCA’s sales of small SUVs are expected to double from 250,000 to 500,000 during the same period.

(Click Here for details about Mopar-equipped Renegades at the Detroit Auto Show.)

“I think the forecast has undercounted the segment,” added Manley, who said he expects the small SUV segment to grow even fast than the predictions of analysts.

(To see more about how Jeep sold more than 1 million units in 2014, Click Here.)

The competitors include the Buick Encore, Nissan Juke and Chevrolet Trax. Jeep dealers across the country should have a healthy supply of the new Renegade by the end of March in concert with a major advertising launch, according to Jim Morrison, director of Jeep advertising and marketing. The campaign will include television, print and digital components.

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