Jeep shelves next-gen Compass for India

    Next-gen Compass' STLA-M platform too expensive to be commercially viable in India. Current-gen Compass to continue for now.

    Published On Jun 17, 2024 10:40:00 AM


    Jeep shelves next-gen Compass for India

    Current-gen Jeep Compass will be on sale in India for a few more years.

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    Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest automaker, has pulled the plug on the next-gen Jeep Compass which was due for an India launch in 2026. Sources say that the project (codenamed J4U), which was under development for over a year, has failed to meet the commercial viability for the Indian market, forcing Stellantis to cancel it.

    1. Next-gen Compass not viable on costly STLA-M platform
    2. Current Compass to get facelifts and updates to extend lifecycle
    3. Jeep Compass petrol not likely to return

    New Jeep Compass: why it’s not coming to India

    The development of J4U would have entailed an additional investment of $400-500 million (Rs 3,344 crore-4,180 crore) as it involved developing an all-new product on the new STLA-M platform. Stellantis had explored the possibility of not only developing the new-gen Compass on that platform but also producing Peugeot SUVs for the Malaysian market that would be exported from India. However, falling volumes of the Compass in India and limited potential for Peugeot SUVs in Malaysia meant that the minimum volumes required could not be guaranteed.

    The STLA-M platform has been designed to support a wide range of body styles, including sedans, crossovers and SUVs. It also incorporates advanced connectivity features and ADAS, and is compatible with both electric and ICE powertrains. This meant an all-electric Compass and the standard ICE versions could be launched simultaneously. However, all this flexibility has come at a cost.

    “Multiple powertrains and body styles has made the STLA-M [platform] very expensive,” said a Stellantis source. In fact, suppliers for the J4U project said that the development cost overshot targets by 1.7 times making it a non-starter, especially in the eyes of Stellantis’ global CEO, Carlos Tavares, who is known for his brutal focus on cost control.

    When contacted, a Stellantis India spokesperson said, “Stellantis remains committed to the Indian market as it is the only country to locally produce and assemble four Jeep nameplates outside of the United States. There are no changes to the production of Jeep vehicles in India, and there are no announcements to be made now.”

    Also see: Jeep to launch all-new Rs 15-20 lakh SUV based on Citroen platform

    Current-gen Compass to continue beyond 2026

    Sources say that Jeep will continue manufacturing the current Compass in India beyond 2026 and will try to extend its lifecycle with occasional cosmetic upgrades. The current-gen Compass was Jeep India’s bread-and-butter model, averaging 1,500-2,000 units in 2017-2018, its peak period of sales. However, Jeep has struggled to sustain sales, and over the last six months, monthly sales have hovered around 270 units.

    This model was launched back in July 2017 and received a facelift in 2021. While we had reported that Jeep could bringing back a petrol engine option for the Compass – after it was discontinued in May 2023 – that is also likely to have been dropped as low volumes do not justify the investment and homologation costs of a new engine. Hence, the current Compass will have to soldier on as a diesel-only offering.

    With inputs from Hormazd Sorabjee

    Watch our Deep Drive podcast on Stellantis' future in India

    Also read

    Jeep Compass starting price now down by Rs 1.7 lakh

    Tata Harrier vs Mahindra XUV700 vs Jeep Compass comparison review

    Jeep Compass 4x2 AT review: Doubling down

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