When it comes to the Jeep Compass, would it have its own dedicated
assembly line or would it be made along with the other products being made
which includes that of Fiat and Tata?
GB: We have a common assembly line
that will continue to manufacture multiple products. Having a dedicated
assembly is not an efficient way of doing things. The plant has a capacity to
make 160,000 units per annum. We are currently at 40pc utilisation levels.
The Jeep Compass will be
powered by a 1.4 litre petrol engine and a 2 litre diesel engine. Are these
engines going to be made here at this plant?
GB: The diesel engine will be made
here at the plant.
KF: We have obviously got
powertrains that are important for Indian application that are going to fit
very well with what the consumers are looking for in the Indian market. But
obviously we will be exporting and we need to accommodate those external
markets as well. The nice thing about this product is that we have got a nice
portfolio of componentry within the plant which is also going to allow us to
move the whole project forward and dig into a broader option list.
This car is a real key piece
in Jeep’s global growth. We are going live; Brazil has gone live, we have the
other markets going live, so it’s a global onslaught in some respect. Still early days but I have got to say the
integrity of the car, the depth of the car, the way the whole thing has been
put together is that it is a capable car. I think the appeal is going to be
huge. We are going to see significant growth of the Jeep Compass in all the
India continues to be a
price sensitive market and prices can only be contained if there is a huge
level of localisation. Has that happened?
KF: We have worked hard on that and
undoubtedly that has helped us. We maximised whatever opportunities were
available within the Indian capabilities. I think this project for us is a huge
accolade for Indian manufacturing. It is also a huge accolade for us as part of
FCA organisation. We have been entrusted
with right hand drive production of the cars. Locally we understand the pricing
sensitivity; I believe we have got it right. I think the package we have put
together and where we will be positioning the car, I think it will meet with
real appeal to the Indian consumer.