Kozhikode: Jeep Compass has given a new sense of direction to automobile enthusiasts in India. The iconic automaker has sold about 20,000 SUVs in the country in just eight months.
The spectacular sales graph has encouraged Jeep’s parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). The company’s India president and managing director, Kevin Flynn, laid out the strategy for the country as he talked to Manorama. He was in Kozhikode to inaugurate FCA’s new showroom at West Hill.
On Indian market.
Indian consumers do their homework before deciding on a product. They know what exactly they are looking for. Price is a major factor in this market. India’s love affair with Jeep started from the time of Willys. In fact, we are rediscovering that passion.
What made Compass click in India?
Compass is a global jeep. Consumers here know that they are driving the same SUV used anywhere else in the world. The SUV’s acceptability is the result of a combination of attractiveness and a price tag that suits India.
Do you see an Indian variant?
Why do we need an Indian variant? Do we need a localised vehicles with excellence and safety diluted? Or do we need a real jeep with global standards on all fronts? That is the question. I do not think any Indian will ask for a substandard jeep only to save some money. If the concern is about motoring on the roads in India, we have a global solution for it.
On future plans.
We are hopeful from the feedback we have received so far. We have 63 outlets in India. The number will reach 70 very soon. We are also planning to set up Jeep Connect centers to offer service. We could manufacture 1.65 lakh units in the plant in Pune in association with Tata Motors. We make sure that we stick to global standards in manufacturing.
What would be your next model for India?
It is hard to say. Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee are being imported to India big time. Maybe we could manufacture them here in future.