Why Fiat S.p.A. Needs the 2015 Jeep Renegade

Jeep is a great American brand, but this Jeep is aimed at markets far from U.S. borders.

Apr 14, 2014 at 8:09PM


The new 2015 Jeep Renegade will make its U.S. debut in New York this week. Photo credit: Fiat Chrysler

Jeep has never built anything like the new Renegade. 

The brand's first-ever subcompact will be one of the smallest SUVs sold in the U.S. when it debuts later this year. And it's going to be built far from traditional Jeep territory, in Italy.

All that may sound strange to American Jeep fans, but Fiat Chrysler (NASDAQOTH:FIATY) has big plans for the new Renegade -- plans that stretch far beyond America's borders.

As Fool contributor John Rosevear explains in this video, the littlest Jeep will be a real Trail Rated Jeep -- but while it will be sold in the U.S., its real importance will be found overseas.

A transcript of the video is below.

How to profit from big banking's little $20.8 trillion secret
There's a brand-new company that's revolutionizing banking, and is poised to kill the hated traditional brick-and-mortar banks. That's bad for them, but great for investors. And amazingly, despite its rapid growth, this company is still flying under the radar of Wall Street. To learn about about this company, click here to access our new special free report.

John Rosevear: Hey Fools, it's John Rosevear, senior auto analyst for Fool.com. The New York International Auto Show starts this week, media days are Wednesday and Thursday, and we're expecting the automakers to unveil several interesting new models.

I'll be there with my Foolish colleague Rex Moore, we'll bring you a video report of the show's highlights at the end of each day, and we'll have a bunch of more in-depth reports for you over the next week or so after that. One of the vehicles we'll be checking out closely is the all-new Jeep Renegade.

The Renegade is something new for Jeep, a subcompact SUV. It was originally unveiled at the Geneva auto show in Switzerland last month, but this will be its North American debut.

It's an interesting product for Jeep, and one of the things that's most interesting about it is that it's not really primarily intended for the U.S. market. It will be sold here, you will be able to buy one, but it's really going to be aimed at younger buyers in Europe and in developing markets, possibly China as well.

And it's not going to be made in the U.S., it's going to be made in Italy. Fiat and Chrysler are now one company, and CEO Sergio Marchionne is running them as one company with a global vision.

One part of that vision involves making Jeep a truly global brand, Jeep has offered a fairly wide range of models for years but most of its sales and profits and really most of its image come from the Wrangler and from the big Grand Cherokees.

Now in order to introduce Jeep to new audiences outside of the U.S., they've come up with this Renegade, which is going to go head to head with vehicles like the Opel Mokka, which is a European cousin of the Buick Encore, and with the Ford (NYSE:F) EcoSport, which is another subcompact SUV, it's based on the Ford Fiesta's platform and it has been a big success for Ford in places like India, where small and rugged and cheap but still nice is a winning combination.

That's really where Jeep is aiming this Renegade, and they have what could turn out to be a trump card if they market it correctly, and that's that this little thing comes in a 4x4 Trail Rated version.

Chrysler says the Renegade Trailhawk, and I quote, "delivers best-in-class 4x4 Trail Rated capability with class-exclusive Jeep Active Drive Low, which includes 20:1 crawl ratio and Jeep Selec-Terrain system."

If they can deliver that for a price that is competitive with a Ford EcoSport, at least a loaded EcoSport, the Renegade could get quite a bit of attention and could do quite well.

But I don't know how it'll do here. Really in the U.S. its competition will be the Nissan (NASDAQOTH:NSANY) Juke and the Kia (NASDAQOTH:KIMTF) Soul, and neither of those are positioned as something with serious off-road capability.

If it's a success, it makes me wonder if Ford will try to bring the EcoSport to the U.S., they certainly could do it without a massive investment, it could be built right on the line in the Mexican factory that builds the U.S. market Fiestas.

But we'll see how it plays out.This new Jeep is an interesting product, and I'm looking forward to getting up close with it in New York later this week, Rex and I will bring you a close look at it with a video report from the show floor. Thanks for watching.

John Rosevear owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool recommends Ford. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers