Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced that it will soon start manufacturing right-hand-drive (RHD) versions of the Jeep Compass at its Melfi facility in Italy. Until now, all RHD versions of the Compass were built at FCA’s Ranjangaon plant in Maharashtra. Shifting some of the production to Italy will help the American SUV manufacturer to fulfil the demands of right-hand-drive markets in Europe.
Currently, the Melfi facility produces RHD versions of the Jeep Renegade. Once the company starts producing the Compass there, the Indian plant will be freed up to produce a new vehicle, which will most likely be the Renegade.
The Renegade shares its platform and powertrains with the Compass. When launched, it will sit under the Compass and will be the new entry-level Jeep with proportions to rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross. Local manufacturing will also help the company price the Renegade competitively. We reckon it could be priced anywhere between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh.
The current global-spec Renegade is offered with a variety of engines – a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol, a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol, a 1.6-litre diesel and a 2.0-litre diesel. We expect the Indian-spec model to share its powertrain with the Compass, which gets a 1.4-litre petrol and a 2.0-litre diesel engine. We expect the Renegade to come to India in the first half of 2019.