FCA relying solely on Compass’ success currently in India as it looks to capitalise on the popularity for SUVs and crossovers
Fiat has been present in the Indian market for quite long time but the sales figures of the Italian brand are not satisfactory to justify that. Specially in recent times, it has seen sales decline for mainstream models like Punto, Avventura and Linea. Its owner FCA launched the Jeep brand here last year with two models Grand Cherokee and Wrangler. But as both the models are positioned in the high-end premium segment with hefty price tags, they are unable to draw satisfactory sales numbers. Now, the brand is focusing on the Compass SUV with shift in strategy.
The Jeep Compass SUV is certainly one of the most talked-about models from the American automaker in recent times globally. This SUV has been designed with Jeep’s iconic aggressive styling and it sports several premium features. As the SUV is likely to be priced between Rs. 18 lakh and Rs. 25 lakh, it is expected to attract more customers compared to the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. With the Compass, FCA is aiming a strong position in the country’s highly competitive SUV market.
If we see Fiat’s recent sales result in the domestic market, it shows more than just numbers. The company has sold 210 units in last month compared to 603 units in June 2016. Its sales have declined by 65% in June 2017 compared to the same month last year. Individually, all the models from the brand are seeing massive decline which includes the performance focused Abarth models.
Fiat is assessing the launch of couple of new models that include the Punto and Linea replacements. It has even patented the Tipo hatchback for the domestic market and the Argo hatchback too is also being considered. But before they launch, it would be too late for the brand to increase its market share and that brings the Jeep’s presence all the more significant.
No wonder, the recent sales status has prompted the FCA to realign its strategy for the Indian market. This is why, we are seeing the group emphasising on the Jeep brand and its Compass SUV along with more affordable smaller models from the American automaker’s stable. Considering the Indian buyer’s love for SUVs and crossovers, and Jeep vehicles being well-equipped capable off-roaders, it has good chance of performing well in the highly competitive Indian market.
Therefore, it is clear that the Jeep Compass is going to be a very important model for the brand’s success in the country. This SUV is ready to hit the showrooms on 31st July, 2017 and on a positive note 1,000 pre-orders were announced to have received within just three days of booking commencement. Upon arrival, it will challenge some really tough rivals like the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and mainly the Hyundai Tucson and VW Tiguan.
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