Seen mostly as a niche brand in Europe, Jeep needed the intervention of Fiat to understand that it cannot go on ignoring one of the biggest auto markets in the world. A market that, for now, brings Jeep flimsy sales numbers at best, somewhere in the 25,000 units a year range.
Now that Europeans pretty much rule Chrysler, that number is no longer seen as enough. How would 125,000 units a year by 2014 sounds like? Great, Chrysler's executives seem to agree, as they have agreed on the plan set by the company's CEO, Sergio Marchionne, to double Jeep's worldwide sales by the same year.
"Our plans for Europe are ambitious but doable. Europe for Jeep is an incredibly important market. We have been here for 30 years and half of our international sales historically were in Europe,"Jeep's CEO Mike Manley was quoted as saying by Autonews.
The plan for Europe is simple: since the customers here are not all that into “big,” Jeep plans to launch on the local market (as well as in the traditional ones, of course) three new models, including a compromise that will come in the form of a small SUV.
The small one will be based on a Fiat platform and will be manufactured in Mexico. The other three models will be launched as a replacement for the Cherokee and a replacement for the Compass.