Jeep is investigating adding an SUV positioned below its compact Renegade, the SUV brand's CEO Mike Manley revealed to Automotive News (subscription required) in an interview published Wednesday.
He said Jeep was looking “very closely” at the vehicle, which if built would be off-limits for the United States because of its diminutive size.
It wouldn't be the first Jeep to skip the U.S. The SUV brand just this week revealed a 3-row SUV designed exclusively for the Chinese market. It's a reflection of Jeep's further transformation into a global brand.
One possibility would be twinning the baby Jeep with a next-generation Fiat Panda Cross, which is due early next decade. It's an idea Jeep has been toying with since at least 2009. The hurdle remains ensuring that an inexpensive, pint-sized SUV twinned with the Panda Cross could be capable enough off the road to warrant Jeep branding.
A decision on the vehicle could come in June, Automotive News reports. The date is when Jeep parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is expected to detail a new 5-year plan.