Plans for a new Jeep model below the Compass and Patriot have been pushed back as part of a larger financial reorganization within Chrysler parent company Fiat. The new model, code named B-SUV, was to be built at the automaker’s Mirafiori plant in Italy, but a $1.3 billion expansion of that facility has been pushed back a year.
Further delaying the process, Fiat will first move ahead with a sister-vehicle to the B-SUV for sale in Europe to replace the Sedici model, which is currently based on the Suzuki SX4. That model will begin production in later 2013, with the Jeep not planned for assembly until mid 2014. Once the expansion is completed, Fiat expects to built up to 280,000 of the compact crossovers based on the new Small Wide platform, which underpins the recently revealed Fiat 500L.
The new platform is capable of running all-wheel drive and so it’s expected the B-SUV will get Jeep’s “Trail Rated” stamp of approval.