Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) brought the Jeep brand to India last year in July. The famed SUVs, since they were CBU imports, were exorbitantly-priced—the Wrangler at Rs 71.59 lakh, and the Grand Cherokee in three variants from Rs 93.64 lakh to Rs 1.12 crore—and thus failed in the market. Now, FCA is making another attempt to popularise the brand, by locally producing the entry-level Jeep SUV, the Compass. On Thursday, the vehicle was rolled off FCA’s Ranjangaon plant assembly line in the presence of Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, FCA COO (Asia Pacific) Paul Alcala, and president & MD of FCA India, Kevin Flynn.
With this, India has joined China, Mexico and Brazil as the manufacturing and export hub for the Jeep Compass.
FCA has invested $280 million in the plant to support local production of Jeep.
The Compass will also give a boost to FCA India’s export plans. In FY17, the company exported a mere 135 units. The made-in-India Compass will be exported to all right-hand-drive (RHD) markets, including the UK, Japan, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. In fact, it would only be the second car to be exported to Japan from India, after the Maruti Suzuki Baleno hatchback.
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The 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.