Last Updated: July 29, 2023, 12:46 IST
In a bid to address the decline in sales and cater to the changing market dynamics, Jeep India is all set to bring back the petrol engine for its popular Compass line-up.
The company had discontinued the petrol variant earlier this year due to non-compliance with BS6 Phase 2 emissions norms. The recent leadership change at Jeep India has brought about a renewed focus on rectifying the situation
Over the last few months, the average sales of the Compass have witnessed a significant drop, falling from a healthy 550-650 units per month to a mere 250-300 units. This dip in sales was mainly attributed to the absence of the petrol engine, which used to contribute to almost half of the total Compass sales.
Diesel engines have traditionally been popular in the SUV segment due to their torquey performance. However, the evolving market dynamics and uncertainties surrounding diesel engines in the long term have led to a surge in demand for petrol-powered vehicles. In regions like Delhi-NCR, where diesel vehicles are restricted to a 10-year ownership, as much as 80 percent of Compass sales came from its petrol variants.
Even the diesel-only Meridian model hasn’t gained momentum in terms of sales, further underscoring the need for a petrol engine in the line-up to cater to customer preferences and increase choices. The arrival of Aditya Jairaj as the new head of Jeep India has ignited a renewed focus within the company to reestablish its position in the Indian market.
Addressing the previous setback caused by the discontinuation of the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine, Jeep India has given the green light to introduce a new 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine in the country. However, enthusiasts might have to wait a bit longer, as the engine calibration, validation, and homologation processes are expected to take around 18-24 months, pushing the launch date to sometime around 2025. It remains uncertain whether the petrol engine will be introduced in the current Compass model or reserved for the upcoming next-gen Compass, slated for 2026.
The new 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine, which made its debut with the Jeep Renegade in 2018, offers two power specs: 129 bhp with a 6-speed manual gearbox and 149 bhp with a 6-speed DCT gearbox, both equipped with front-wheel drive. Other global markets where the Compass is sold have already embraced this more efficient turbo-petrol engine since the mid-lifecycle facelift in 2020, making a strong case for its introduction in India.
The potential inclusion of the turbo-petrol engine in the Meridian variant could further enhance Jeep’s prospects in India and help achieve economies of scale for the brand. Export volumes could also see an upswing, aligning with Jeep’s Melfi plant in Italy, where the 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine serves as the export base for the Compass.
Although Jeep India has not officially confirmed these developments, Aditya Jairaj hinted at the possibility of a petrol comeback, emphasizing the company’s customer-centric approach. As the market demands swift action, Jeep India aims to respond promptly and decisively to bridge the crucial gap in its portfolio.
The return of the petrol engine to the Compass lineup promises to be a game-changer, injecting excitement back into the brand and setting the stage for a remarkable resurgence in the Indian automotive landscape.
Web Title – Jeep Compass Petrol to Make a Comeback After Sales Decline, Details Inside