The first Jeep Compass rolled out of the Ranjangaon plant assembly line last week.
Chief Executive Officer of Fiat India Automobiles, the Tata Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles joint venture, Gurpratap Boparai said in an interview. “As a manufacturing facility, we are right there with other plants on efficiency and quality. We are one of the unique automobile facilities, which also has a full fledged powertrain unit in a single complex.”
The Ranjangaon plant now has a special place on the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) map worldwide since it will be the sole manufacturing hub for all right-hand-drive markets of the Compass.
The reasoning is straightforward. The Compass is a global vehicle, which will be exported to all right-hand-drive markets right from the UK and South Africa to Japan and Australia. To that extent, it does not follow the general paradigm of a low-cost car shipped out from India.
FCA had made substantial investments for the Compass and the business plan envisages a healthy mix of exports and domestic sales to keep the project financially viable. In addition, this will constantly ensure production even if there is some kind of cyclicality in some markets. A downturn in South Africa, for instance, can be offset by buoyant business in Australia or India.
FCA India will be hoping that everything works according to plan in terms of building up market share. In its earlier avatar as Fiat, it delivered products such as the Uno and Palio that caught the fancy of customers but lost their way subsequently. The Compass will now leverage the Jeep’s brand and its mass popularity worldwide while wooing a new set of Indian customers who will hopefully be ready to take the plunge.