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Brazil-Built Jeep CUV Confirmed

Executive Summary

Jeep will launch production of its all-new Patriot/Compass replacement in the fourth quarter in Brazil. U.S. plans for the vehicle are yet to be announced.

AUBURN HILLS, MI – Jeep will launch production of its Patriot/Compass replacement in fourth-quarter 2016 at its plant in Brazil, Jeep confirms to WardsAuto today at a press event here.

Michael Manley, Jeep global brand chief, won’t elaborate on the vehicle codenamed C-SUV other than to confirm its entry into the South American market. U.S. plans are not disclosed, but the vehicle clearly is key for Jeep in the hot North American small CUV market.

“I generally think there’s more than enough space for more products,” Manley says. “There’s plenty of room for growth in that segment.”

The new small Jeep is the third model for the $1.8 billion Goiana assembly plant in Pernambuco, Brazil. The plant started production in 2015 with the Renegade on FCA’s Small-Wide architecture and added the Fiat Toro pickup in January. It has a capacity of 250,000 vehicles per year.

The Fiat Punto Evo B-car is produced at the Betim plant in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The Patriot, Compass and the Dodge Dart will be produced at the Belvidere, IL, plant until the end of 2016; the plant is expected to begin building the Jeep Cherokee in early 2017.

Manley also reconfirms the TrackHawk version of the Grand Cherokee, powered by the same 707-hp Hemi V-8 used in the Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcat models, will begin production in mid- to late-2017.

Jeep’s global boss adds that the idea of bringing more diesel-powered Jeeps to the U.S. market is “very viable.” The powerful low-end torque from diesel engines is particularly well-suited for Jeeps, Manley says.

“We have diesels in all the products in our portfolio, so the opportunity to bring additional diesels to the U.S. is definitely there,” he says.

bgritzinger@wardsauto.com

 

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