US company Jeep has tasted tremendous success in India in recent times with its Compass SUV. Such has been the popularity of Compass in India that the brand even launched its more premium version, the TrailHawk, in the country to attract new buyers. To expand its ever-growing footprint in India, the company is now setting its sight on other segments as well. A new report suggests that Jeep has started developing a 7-seater SUV based on Compass that is likely to be launched by the end of 2020 or beginning 2021. In India, this car will challenge the likes of Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner among others.
For the unacquainted, Jeep’s plan for a seven-seater SUV in India is not new. Jeep had hinted way back in 2017 that a 7-seater SUV might be around the corner but now the project has finally been approved. The new car will probably be positioned as a Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour challenger and get proper 4×4 drivetrain on the top end variant. According to a person in the know of the company’s plan,
“The project has been approved and it will be an offspring of the all new Compass planned for 2020. With the launches of vehicles like Trailhawk, Compass and now the Grand Compass or Compass long, the company wants to reinforce Jeep’s premium positioning in the market, before more accessible compact Jeep hits the market in the subsequent years,”
The seven-seater Compass will be manufactured at the Ranjangaon plant on the outskirts of Pune. This will help keep the costs of the new car in check. There will, however, be no compromise on the ‘Jeep DNA’ and the car will come with decent off-road capabilities. Apart from this seven-seater SUV, Jeep is also looking to launch a sub-4-meter SUV in the Indian market that will further boost the sales for the brand. FCA, the parent company of the brand, is therefore going to make massive investments in India in the next couple of years.
According to sources, Jeep will focus on marketing the new seven-seater car as a premium vehicle and rely on high margin products over volumes. The latest Compass TrailHawk offering by the company comes with serious off-road capabilities. This aside, the company is also working on upgrading its engine lineup in view of the upcoming emission norms to be imposed by the Indian Government by April 2020. While several manufacturers have decided to shun diesel engine in their lower-priced cars to deal with this change in regulations, Jeep will continue using diesel engines for its SUVs. The US automaker will also launch a facelifted version of the Wrangler in India in the coming months.