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Jeep mulls new models and EVs in push for world domination

By David Bonnici, 04 Jun 2018 Car News

Jeep mulls new models and EVs in push for world domination

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief Sergio Marchionne has big plans for the US-based utility brand

Jeep has revealed a desire to become the world’s biggest sports utility brand, embracing electrification and introducing two new models at each end of its SUV range.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile chief executive Sergio Marchionne revealed the US automaker’s ambitions in an investor briefing at the company’s test track in Balocco, Italy, late last week. In it, he detailed plans for the future of its brands – which also include Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati and Ram – over the next five years.

Despite not rating a mention in FCA’s official company name, Jeep remains one of its key brands, improving its fortunes recently via a rejuvenated range featuring vastly improved versions of established nameplates such as Wrangler and Compass.

The company is set to expand that range, with the already muted new version of the Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer, and a compact SUV expected to be smaller than the Renegade.

Read next: 2017 Jeep Renegade Review

The crossover is expected to be a budget offering aimed at India and China, but if packaged right has the potential to have much wider appeal.

The SUVs will join other new models, including a three-row electric vehicle, a tray-backed version of the Wrangler, a Chinese-market Jeep Commander, the next-generation Renegade, the Cherokee (including a three-row version), and a heavily facelifted Compass.

Jeep boss Mike Manley said the company planned to become the most dominant utility vehicle brand in the world by 2022, with two new model launches a year aimed at takin its global market share to one in five SUVs sold.   

These will include 10 plug-in hybrid and four full EV variants across its range by 2022. The move will also coincide with diesel-engined Jeeps being phased out as part of a wider FCA plan.

Jeep is also promising Level 3 autonomy, where the vehicle steers, accelerates and brakes by itself, within four years.