The Jeep brand will debut in one of the largest potential automotive markets in the world next year, with the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Grand Cherokee set to go on sale in India before the end of 2013. It’s part of an aggressive expansion strategy for the Fiat/Chrysler Group conglomerate, which will bring some nine fresh models to India over the next few years to help establish its presence in that country.
"Our vision for India will revolve around a three-pronged strategy," said Mike Manley, president and CEO of the Jeep brand as well as the automaker’s chief operating officer for Asia. "First, introduction of new vehicles that will soon include the legendary Jeep brand. Second, the expansion of our independent dealer network and, finally, strong marketing initiatives that will continue to improve our awareness and brand perception in the market."
Now, it must be noted that even though India has the third largest economy in Asia—behind only China and Japan—auto sales in the country have been down significantly in three of the past four months, and the prognosis for 2013 remains relatively bleak. Still, international growth opportunities are vital to the ongoing success of today’s automakers, and launching in India is particularly important for the Chrysler Group as it continues to play catch-up with GM and Ford in global markets.
Of course, America’s favorite off-road brand will have an unrivalled advantage to offer Indian customers in the form of the first vehicles it's expected to launch in that country: the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2013 Jeep Wrangler—the latter of which, as detailed below, recently garnered yet more major awards here in this country.
2013 Jeep Wrangler: A Recap of Recent Awards
When we last checked in with the 2013 Jeep Wrangler, it had just corralled a third consecutive title as the “Mid-Size SUV of Texas” at the annual Texas Truck Rodeo. But that was back in October, and the Wrangler has been plenty busy since then. In the roughly two months since then, the 2013 Jeep Wrangler also garnered recognitions that include:
- Hottest 4X4 SUV at the 2012 SEMA Show
- 4X4 of the Year from Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine
- A third straight Best Resale Value Award (Compact Utility class) from kelley blue book’s KBB.com
- A second consecutive spot on KBB.com’s industry-wide Top 10 Resale Value list
- Four Wheeler of the Year from Four Wheeler Magazine
And that last prize represents the second time the Wrangler has won the Four Wheeler crown in the last three years—with the Jeep Grand Cherokee sandwiching a victory between the Wrangler Rubicon (2010) and the Wrangler Unlimited Moab Edition this year.
The party line from Four Wheeler: “In the end, the Moab dominated the Trail Performance category of scoring … . If you're looking for a vehicle you can comfortably commute in all week and then wheel on the weekend, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Moab would serve you well. Strong power, an array of comfort features, and good fuel mileage make it easy to drive daily. The flexible suspension, grippy tires, and locking rear diff help make it easy to wheel. It's a well-rounded machine with incredible off-road capabilities.”
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