FCA today announced an expansion to the local product line-up in India, confirming that an investment of over $250 million (Rs 1,850 crore) has been committed towards the production of four new Jeep SUVs.
The all-new local vehicle line-up includes the 2021 made-in-India Jeep Compass, a locally produced and global-first three-row Jeep SUV, as well as the iconic Jeep Wrangler and next- generation Grand Cherokee flagship, which will both be locally assembled in FCA’s joint venture manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon. The four new products will be on Indian roads by the end- of 2022.
The 2021 Jeep Compass is set to be unveiled in India on January 7, 2021 and production has already commenced. The luxury seven-seat mid-size Jeep, codenamed H6, will be launched in 2022. Autocar Professional had reported about a possible India launch of the 7-seater Compass in July 2017
Commenting on today’s announcement, FCA India managing director, Dr Partha Datta said, “Our new investment of $250 million will give us a competitive edge in multiple segments with our new Jeep SUVs rolling out of Ranjangaon.”
“This investment is in addition to $450 million (Rs 3,330 crore) we have already committed to our Indian operations over the past five years. We are delighted to announce our exciting new products, coupled with our continued commitment to India in Jeep brand’s 80th anniversary year,” said Dr. Datta.
On December 16, 2020, FCA had announced its footprint expansion in India with a Rs 1,110 crore investment in a Global Digital Centre in Hyderabad. The automotive group also expanded its Engineering operations recently and will be creating at least 1000 new jobs by the end of 2021. In 2015, FCA invested in the local development and production of the Jeep Compass in Ranjangaon. In addition, FCA has upgraded powertrains to meet BS-VI regulations and invested in transmission and drive-line development for product configurations offered in India.
Dr Datta added, “We are determined to increase locally-made componentry in our vehicles which are produced in our joint venture manufacturing facility. Our plans in India are aimed at increasing the value proposition for customers through our products and services, working hard on customer satisfaction and unlocking business opportunities for our business partners.”
The Jeep brand made its debut in India in 2016, followed by the launch of the Jeep Compass in 2017.
FCA-PSA merger could drive global synergies in India
Meanwhile, yesterday’s big-ticket announcement that FCA and Groupe Peugeot SA (PSA) shareholders have approved the proposed merger of FCA and Groupe PSA to form Stellantis, the world’s fourth largest automaker, could also drive synergies, particularly at Backend operations, in this part of the world.
While FCA India has its manufacturing operations at Ranjangaon in Maharashtra (160,000 PVs, 350,000 engines and 300,000 transmission units at full capacity), Groupe PSA’s India entry comes in the form of Citroen and the manufacturing operation at the CK Birla plant in Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu.