India-made Jeep Compass sets sail for right-hand-drive markets

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 25 Oct 2017

Five months after FCA India started local manufacture of its Jeep Compass SUV, the company has begun shipping right-hand-drive units of the made-in-India Jeep Compass. This is in line with its export strategy revealed at the SUV’s market launch in India three months ago.

The FCA Group, which has 162 manufacturing facilities and 87 R&D centres worldwide, has chosen India as one of the only four locations (Brazil, Mexico and China) where the Jeep Compass is manufactured. Going forward, the model is planned to be sold in over 100 countries. Importantly, the Ranjangaon plant, near Pune, is the sole export facility for right-hand-drive (RHD) markets across the globe. 

Earlier today, the company shipped its very first batch of 600 units of the Jeep Compass from the Bombay Port Trust facility to Australia and Japan. The Ranjangaon-produced SUV with over 65 percent local content will go to other international markets through the ongoing quarter of 2017. These could include the UK, New Zealand, and South Africa.  

According to Gurpratap Boparai, CEO, Fiat India Automobiles, said, “Our resolve has been to ensure timely delivery of a world-class product, made in India, to Indian as well as our international customers. We had planned to start shipping the India-made Jeep Compass in the fourth quarter of this calendar year and we are on track. Soon, our made-in-India Jeep Compass will be seen on the roads in Australia and Japan, our first two right-hand-drive export destinations.” 

FCA is bullish on its Indian manufacturing operations and has committed $280 million (Rs 1,769 crore) towards the localisation of the Jeep Compass.

Compass helps FCA to UV market share in India
The Jeep Compass has helped FCA India open its market share account in the booming utility vehicle (UV) segment in the country. Between August and September 2017, the SUV, whose pricing starts at an aggressive Rs 14.95 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi), for the base Sport petrol trim and comes in a total of six variant options – three each in diesel and petrol – and the top-end diesel Limited 4x4 variant at Rs 20.65 lakh, has sold a total of 5,106 units. This has given the Italian manufacturer a 1.16 percent market share in the first half of the fiscal (April-September 2017) in the UV segment.

Kevin Flynn, president and MD, FCA India said, “The Jeep Compass has gained impressive traction in India and we are enjoying continued momentum with growing interest as the Compass is now being regularly seen on Indian roads. Our effort and intent has been to pace up our retail deliveries after the market launch, in time for the festive season, without losing sight of our exports for this year. We have added five more sales and service outlets since July taking our distribution reach now up to 55; closing this year with 60, as committed. We are looking forward to a strong 2018 when production will be at full pace delivering on target domestic and export numbers.”

Also read: India to play key role in FCA’s global Jeep growth plan