The replacement for the Jeep Patriot/Compass was scheduled to make its debut at the New York Auto Show later this month, but instead will debut in Brazil, where it will be produced, according to officials.
Mike Manley, Jeep’s global chief, said the yet-to-be-named small crossover will be built at its $1.8 billion assembly plant in Pernambuco, Brazil. Production is set to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
The plant, which is one of Jeep’s most modern facilities, currently produces the Jeep Renegade, the Fiat Punto and Fiat Toro in January. It has the capacity to produce 250,000 vehicles annually.
Until then, the current Patriot and Compass production run is scheduled to continue at the Belvidere, Illinois, plant until the end of this year, officials said. The plant also builds the Dodge Dart and will begin producing the Jeep Cherokee there in 2017, according to WardsAuto.com.
(Chrysler drops price on all-new Pacifica. For more, Click Here.)
The move to add another crossover to shows that the platform is popular not only in North America, but also globally. Midrange CUV sales are on the rise in Europe and are particularly strong in China.
“I think there’s more than enough room for more products,” Mike Manley, head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global, told reporters at the debut of Jeep’s concept vehicles for the Easter Safari. “There’s plenty of room for growth in this segment.”
Success of the Jeep brand has been keeping the company in the black these days, at least in North America.
(Click Here to see more about Jeep’s Safari concept vehicles.)
Fiat Chrysler reported U.S. sales increased 12% last month compared with sales in February, keeping alive the company’s long string of monthly sales increases, which is now just short of six years old.
“Continued strong consumer demand for our Jeep vehicles drove the Jeep brand to its best February sales ever, while our Ram pickup truck and Ram vans recorded their best February sales ever,” said Reid Bigland, senior vice president, Sales, FCA North America.
“Overall, FCA US realized its best February sales in 10 years and our 71st consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases.”
(Looking for the best family cars? Click Here.)
FCA U.S. finished the month of February with an 88-day supply of inventory (673,494 units).