Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has started a new innings in India with the Jeep Compass SUV to establish itself as a ‘relevant’ brand. The American OEM has made an aggressive move of pricing the entry-level Compass at Rs 14.95 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Compass is a five-seater vehicle. A seven-seater version could give it company in the not-so-distant future.
A seven-seater Compass is under development in China. It is scheduled to be launched in that market next year, after a showcase later this year. According to a company source, the seven-seater version is designed to offer good seating position and space in the third row as well. "In China, adults (grandparents) sit in the third row while the children sit in the second row, unlike in many other markets where only the kids sit in the third row".
There's no official comment from FCA India on the introduction of the seven-seater Compass. However, there are indications that the Renegade, a smaller SUV than the Compass, would be introduced in India. The Renegade and the Compass are based on the same platform.
Introducing the seven-seater Compass will help FCA to not only tap an additional segment of vehicles but also gain better economies of scale to be more competitive in India.
At present, the seven-seater SUVs in India comprise the Tata Hexa, Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour.