The manufacturer has also confirmed that it is evaluating petrol variants of the two SUVs.
Jeep India recently launched new 4×2 diesel-automatic variants of the Compass, which the company claims has been “exclusively designed to be sold in India”. The company also rejigged the trims with more affordable manual variants, thereby making the Compass range more accessible to buyers. These were intended not just as mid-lifecycle updates, but important product interventions to boost sales.
This was also long overdue as, with the discontinuation of the petrol engine earlier this year and lack of an affordable automatic variant in the line-up, Compass’ sales were deeply hurt, selling just about 200-300 units a month on average.
New Compass variants expected to double sales
The newly introduced variants have brought down the entry price of the Compass by nearly Rs 1.25 lakh, while the new 4×2 AT variants have made the automatic gearbox more accessible by nearly Rs 6 lakh. Jeep hopes that this will help double the Compass’ monthly sales.
“In terms of segment coverage in the C-segment, today we cover about 10 percent,” said Aditya Jairaj, deputy managing director, Stellantis India in a recent interaction with Autocar India. “With the introduction of the new 4×2 automatic variants, and with other features being moved around, we expect to cover 40 percent of the segment, and as a result, double our sales.”
Jairaj, however, admitted that the brand needs to have stronger communication to support its sales. “You can have the best product, but you have to communicate it. We have had a good interaction with our dealers, shown them the value proposition and they are very enthused,” said Jairaj. If our sources are to be believed, this is true as dealers are indeed receiving a lot of interest for the new variants.
Jeep Meridian special edition could increase sales
Jeep also introduced a new Overland special edition of the Meridian, which receives a few cosmetic updates to the exterior and interior. The Meridian, too, hasn’t quite brought in the numbers it was expected to, but with the Overland Edition, Jairaj says they have listened to their customers, and “increased the premium quotient.” He also expects the Meridian to have some rub-off effect from the more affordable variants of the Compass with more customers now walking into the showrooms.
“Our intention is to make sure that the Compass and the Meridian are the workhorses for Jeep in India,” said Jairaj. The company is expecting a return to four-digit monthly sales with these new variants of the Compass and Meridian.
Jeep Compass, Meridian petrol under evaluation
Perhaps the biggest boost in sales could come if the company were to bring back a petrol engine to its core models for India. After all, the now-discontinued 1.4-litre petrol variants contributed to nearly 50 percent of the Compass’ total sales, and the market has also been increasingly inclined towards petrol in recent times.
Confirming our previous report on the same, Jairaj said, “Petrol is on the table. We are evaluating a petrol engine for both Compass and Meridian, and we will have more on that soon.”
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