Jeep Compass petrol engine discontinued; no replacement in sight

    The Compass Trailhawk has also been taken off the shelves; petrol power unlikely to make a comeback before next-gen Compass due in 2026.

    Published On May 18, 2023 11:35:00 AM

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    Jeep has pulled the plug on the Compass petrol in India as the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol unit does not meet the latest BS6 Phase 2 emissions norms that came into effect this April. The company had already started phasing out the petrol engine with the discontinuation of the manual variants back in December 2022, following which the petrol engine was only available with the DCT automatic gearbox. However, that too has now been taken out of showrooms.

    The Compass will, therefore, continue as a diesel-only SUV, but crucially, this leaves Jeep with no petrol-engined model in the lower end of its portfolio.  

    1. Jeep’s 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine has been discontinued globally
    2. Petrol variants contributed to over 50 percent of Compass’ sales
    3. Compass Trailhawk variants have also been discontinued  

    Why Jeep can’t offer a Compass petrol any longer?

    Jeep had already stopped production of the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol unit globally due to stricter emissions norms abroad. This engine was available in markets like South America and Europe. A new and more efficient 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine replaced the older unit in most of these markets when the facelifted Compass arrived in 2020. India was, however, one of the very few remaining markets to continue with the 1.4-litre engine even with the facelifted model since it was compatible with BS6 Phase 1 emissions regulations implemented back then.

    Foreseeing the stricter BS6 Phase 2 emissions norms in India, Jeep should have ideally replaced the outgoing 1.4-litre engine with the new 1.3-litre unit here as well. However, this wasn't a viable move for Jeep, and that’s down to two primary reasons – local sales and export volumes.

    The petrol engine contributed to about 50-60 percent of the Compass’ sales in India, and in some metro cities such as Delhi where diesel is discouraged, it went up to as much as 80 percent of total sales. However, the Compass sells only about 650 units a month on average, which means the share of the petrol variants works out to be 350-400 units a month. So, there’s clearly no business case in bringing an all-new engine for just a few hundred units a month.

    Secondly, prior to the arrival of the Compass facelift, India was the sole export base for right-hand drive versions of the SUV. However, post the facelift, Jeep also started producing RHD versions of the Compass in Italy at the brand’s Melfi plant, and that too became an export base. India thus lost a significant share of export volumes and that meant even lower economies of scale for the 1.3-litre engine to be localised and manufactured here.

    Importantly, Jeep could have acted much sooner as this is a case of poor product planning. It typically takes two to three years for a new powertrain to be approved and validated for launch in a new market. However, unless there is active investment from the brand in developing and launching new products specific to the market, there will never be a viable business case.

    The only possibility for a petrol engine to make a comeback in the Compass line-up in India is with the next-gen model due in 2026, which is also expected to have an all-electric version.

    Jeep Compass Trailhawk discontinued too

    In addition to the petrol variants, Jeep has also discontinued the top-spec Trailhawk variant of the Compass that came with the 2.0-litre diesel engine and a 4x4 drivetrain. The model has been delisted from the Jeep India website, although some dealers continue to have limited unsold stock.  

    What does this mean for Jeep India?

    For the foreseeable future, the Compass and the Meridian, which are mainstays of the brand in India, will continue with a sole diesel engine, while the flagship Grand Cherokee and Wrangler are powered by a petrol engine. This leaves them quite vulnerable in the mass-market segment that is moving away from diesels.

    Given that the petrol variants contributed to a majority of the Compass’ sales, the company’s overall volumes could see a significant drop. Moreover, the Meridian too hasn’t quite kicked off like Jeep would have wanted, so the withdrawal of the petrol engine comes at the worst time possible.

    Here's what Jeep India has to say 

    The Premium SUV segment continues to enjoy a strong demand for diesel powertrain. Jeep India will continue to invest and develop its efficient state-of-the-art 2.0 L MultiJet Turbo Diesel powertrains offering superior torque, lower emissions and an impressive fuel efficiency. Jeep India is committed to the market and has significant product plans for the future. We will continue to explore all possible engine and fuel options in line with the evolving market preferences to offer what is most relevant to our consumers.

     

    Also See:

    Honda e:Ny1 electric SUV breaks cover

    Toyota Yaris Cross SUV revealed for ASEAN markets

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    Comments

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    Rohit Mehra - 332 days ago

    Appreciation for really being thoughtful and also for deciding on certain marvelous guides most people really want to be aware of. Is your jeep compass has an installed side footrest?

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