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Jeep confirms plug-in hybrid Renegade

Plugged in: Jeep will build a plug-in hybrid version of its Renegade from 2020 (non-PHEV version shown).

Australian future unclear, but Jeep says Renegade PHEV will roll out in 2020

9 Oct 2018

JEEP has announced that it will produce a plug-in hybrid version of its Renegade crossover that will be sold in some global markets from early 2020 as part of its parent company’s electrification plan to meet toughening emissions standards.
The PHEV will be sold alongside regular petrol and diesel versions of the Renegade, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia is yet to confirm whether it is considering offering the electrified high-rider Down Under.
Jeep has not revealed any technical details about the model’s powertrain, but the SUV specialist has confirmed that it will be built at FCA’s Melfi plant in Italy alongside the regular versions of the Renegade and the Fiat 500X with which it shares its underpinnings.
It is unclear if FCA will also offer a PHEV version of the 500X.
Jeep has spent more than 200 million euros ($A324.3m) in launching the powertrain and the company says it will retrain employees on how to use the technology and it will modernise the plant.
“With over 742,000 Renegades produced to date in Italy, the Melfi plant and the Renegade are the ideal location and the perfect product to launch the PHEV, further strengthening the offer of this highly successful Jeep,” Jeep chief operating officer for the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) region Pietro Gorlier said.
The PHEV marks the next step in FCA’s electrification strategy and it follows the launch of the PHEV Pacifica MPV and the mild hybrid e-Torque system from the Ram 1500.
The company has previously announced it will launch 12 electric propulsion systems – including battery electric, plug-in hybrid, full hybrid and mild hybrid) in global architectures that will result in 30 different models being equipped with one or more of the systems.
FCA has been slower than many global automotive manufacturers to implement its electrification strategy, particularly outside the US where it sells the Ram 1500, Chrysler Pacifica MPV and the discontinued 500e.
Former FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne famously told buyers in May 2014 not to buy the 500e as he was making a loss on every one sold.
“I hope you don’t buy it because every time I sell one it costs me $14,000,” he told the audience at the Brookings Institution four years ago. “I’m honest enough to tell you that.
“I will sell the (minimum) of what I need to sell and not one more.”
In Australia, the Renegade is a slow-selling model for Jeep, so building a successful business case could prove challenging.
The Renegade had its best sales year in 2016 – it launched in October 2015 – with 1051 units shifted, before dipping by 33 per cent to 704 units in 2017.
To the end of September this year, sales have slid dramatically by 77.3 per cent to 135 units.
The facelifted version of the Renegade, which was revealed in June, is scheduled to hit Australian showrooms in the second half of next year.

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