With sales of the four-wheel-drive Jeep Renegade Trailhawk accounting for around 14 per cent of local numbers, Jeep is in the process of working on a non-Trailhawk version to meet consumer demand.
FCA Australia boss Steve Zanlunghi told CarAdvice that Jeep was working on a business case to bring a non-Trailhawk four-wheel-drive version of the Renegade to Australia, based on its success in Europe.
"We're seeing right now in Renegade, 14 per cent [four-wheel-drive Trailhawk variants]. The one thing that we need to fix and introduce is a four-wheel-drive version lower down the range. That's something we're working on right now," Zanlunghi said.
"In Europe, what we see, one of our best sellers is the Longitude, which is one up from the Sport, four-by-four and in Europe we were around 30 per cent four-by-four, where the segment was only 12 per cent. It really differentiates us as not just a soft-roader."
Zanlunghi joined FCA Australia as the boss in August and previously was the in charge of FCA in the UK and Ireland, along with Jeep for the Middle East and Africa. His unique experience with the UK right-hand-drive market has given him insights into what consumers want in Australia.
Based on UK specification, the all-wheel-drive non-Trailhawk Renegade is available in the Longitude trim with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel MultiJet engine. The price difference between it and the nearest two-wheel drive diesel sibling, the 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel MultiJet, is the equivalent of around $4000.
Renegade sales are down on this time last year following the vehicle's local launch in October 2015. The introduction of an all-wheel-drive model without Trailhawk kit could net the brand additional sales given that people are attracted to the brand's off-road credentials.
CarAdvice will keep you posted as more information about an entry level four-whee-drive Renegade comes to hand.