The first locally manufactured Jeep Compass, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) India’s sports utility vehicle (SUV), officially rolled off the assembly line today at the company’s Ranjangaon plant.
The start of production sees India join China, Brazil and Mexico as a manufacturing and export hub for the Jeep Compass, the most capable compact SUV ever. Ranjangaon will be the sole export facility for right-hand-drive (RHD) markets across the globe.
Senior government officials and company leaders attended the roll-off ceremony, including Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister of Maharashtra; Paul Alcala, FCA’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the APAC region, non-China; Kevin Flynn, president and managing director of FCA India; Gurpratap Boparai, CEO of FIAPL and Girish Bapat, guardian minister of Pune.
“The establishment of manufacturing operations and start of production of the Jeep Compass is an important milestone for our journey in India,” said Paul Alcala. “The Compass will be the first ‘Made in India’ Jeep vehicle, and we are appreciative of the government’s efforts to make India a desirable manufacturing destination for multinational organisations, such as ours. With the start of production and an investment of US$280 million in the Jeep Compass localisation, we are reaffirming our commitment to Indian consumers and our long-term presence in the country.”
Like other FCA facilities around the world, the Ranjangaon plant is implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), a structured and rigorous production system that encompasses all plant processes. It focuses on eliminating waste, increasing productivity and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organised manner.
Plant employees are engaged to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their facilities, promoting a strong sense of ownership. Using a common production language, best practices and know-how can be exchanged and shared across the Company’s global manufacturing footprint, thus accelerating the rate of improvement at all facilities.
“To be part of the development of Jeep Compass and witness its roll out for the first time brings us a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction,” said Gurpratap Boparai. “The build quality we have achieved in the development stage of the Compass is truly world class and is an example of superior technological and manufacturing excellence. We are immensely proud that Indian customers can soon own a locally-made Jeep SUV that is built to the highest quality standards.”
The Jeep Compass will be in full production in July and vehicles are expected to arrive in dealerships across India during the third quarter of 2017 in three variants: Sport, Longitude and Limited.
Locally, the Compass will come equipped with various combinations of diesel and petrol engines paired with manual and automatic transmissions, offering customers over 50 trim configurations and value packages.
By the end of 2017, the Jeep brand’s portfolio in India will consist of three new models. The locally-produced Jeep Compass will join the iconic Jeep Wrangler and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Exports for right-hand-drive markets outside India will start in the last quarter of 2017.
India to play key role in FCA’s global Jeep growth plan
Interview with Kevin Flynn, president and MD, FCA India