It has been an interesting and exciting year for Fiat Chrysler India as its investments in Jeep brand started to reap good benefits for the company not only in terms of profitability but with the Jeep Compass it made an instant impact and connect with Indian consumers. Since its debut in India in July 2017 the Compass has received an over-whelming response and with over 10,000 bookings by September 2017 would have bought a relief to the company. The investment of $280 million for the Jeep Compass project is on its way to break even and soon Jeep Compass will be bringing in profits for FCA India.
So what’s next? The obvious choice has to be the Jeep Renegade. The small SUV will be positioned below the Jeep Compass in the company’s portfolio and the company’s aggressive strategy that has been seen with the Compass hints that Jeep Renegade will also be locally manufactured at the company’s Ranjangaon facility. But expect Jeep India to first focus on Jeep Compass’ increasing demand in India and its export markets. Remember, FCA India’s Ranjangaon plant is a global hub for Jeep’s right hand drive markets where Compass is sold and is exported to all major countries including Japan and Australia.
Jeep Renegade was recently spotted testing in India that speculated a lot of rumors about the SUV and its India launch but let’s not forget the Jeep Compass has been in the market for just about 4 months now and the sales of the SUV is keeping the company and the plant busy and any additional pressure on existing assembly lines might have an adverse affect on Compass resulting in longer waiting periods for its customers. New product also needs huge investments and a fresh assembly line whose decision cannot be taken overnight by any company.
Jeep Renegade SUV makes complete sense for the Indian market but the company will continue its focus on the Jeep Compass at least through the first six months of 2018 before making any official announcement on Jeep Renegade. Kevin Flynn, President and Managing Director, FCA India had commented, "We are looking forward to a strong 2018 when production of Compass will be at full pace delivering on target domestic and export numbers." That hints that Jeep Renegade launch might not be as soon as other media is reporting. Jeep Renegade will also not be showcased in February 2018 as FCA India will not be participating in the 2018 auto expo.