Chrysler Group's Jeep brand has set a goal that by 2014, its sales in Europe (its biggest export market) will reach 125,000, from a low 25,000 forecast for this year, according to CEO Mike Manley. Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne seeks to increase Jeep's global sales to more than 800,000 units in 2014 from 420,000 last year.
This means that whatever gains it gets in Europe will be a key element. In an interview with Automotive News Europe, Manley said that its plans for Europe may be ambitious but they’re also doable. He added that for Jeep, Europe is a crucial market as it has around for 30 years and about 50% of its overseas sales historically come from Europe.
Manley said that products, including the brand's first small SUV and a new expanded dealer network, will contribute to Jeep’s being able to reach this goal. Jeep is about to launch three fuel-efficient SUVs that will help increase sales in European countries that have car taxes based on the emissions.
These include Jeep's first small SUV -- a Fiat-based "baby" Wrangler code-named B-SUV that likely will be built in Toluca, Mexico for sale in Europe, North America and Latin America, starting in late 2013 or early 2014.
There will soon be a replacement for the Cherokee medium SUV (dubbed the Liberty in the U.S.). This is expected to enter production in the U.S. in early 2013 and it will be exported to Europe by spring 2013. The model, which is condenamed D-SUV, will still be an all-wheel-drive vehicle. A front-wheel-drive option is possible. For Europe, a key engine will be Fiat's 170-hp, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine.
Jeep will be able to use a revamped version of the Fiat engine, will have improved power and torque, while cutting fuel consumption and emissions. It also has used Fiat's MultiAir variable valve timing system. Jeep has taken out the Cherokee from its European lineup but is looking at the Grand Cherokee large SUV, which is powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine from VM Motori of Italy.