First Jeep rolls off assembly line in India

The Jeep Compass is being manufactured from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, joint venture plant at Ranjangaon near Pune city and is made in India, finds out Team B&C

u           The Ranjangaon plant has world class manufacturing (WCM) system

u           Plant marks the first right-hand-drive production of the all-new Jeep Compass

u           Vehicles destined for right-hand-drive markets across the globe

u           Exports to begin in the last quarter of CY 2017

On June 1, Jeep Compass, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) India’s first locally-produced sport-utility vehicle (SUV), officially rolled off the assembly line at the company’s Ranjangaon plant.

The start of production sees India joining China, Brazil and Mexico as a manufacturing and export hub for the Jeep Compass. Ranjangaon will be the sole export facility for right-hand-drive (RHD) markets across the globe.

Senior government and company officials attended the roll-off ceremony, including Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister of Maharashtra, Paul Alcala, FCA’s Chief Operating Officer of the APAC region, non-China, Kevin Flynn, president and managing director of FCA India, Gurpratap Boparai, CEO of FIAPL and Girish Bapat, guardian minister of Pune.

“The establishment of manufacturing operations and start of production of the Jeep Compass is an important milestone for our journey in India,” said Alcala. She added that, the Compass will be the first ‘made in India’ Jeep and the company is appreciative of the government’s efforts to make India a desirable manufacturing destination for MNCs. “With the start of production and an investment of US$280 million in the plant we are reaffirming our commitment to Indian consumers and our long-term presence in the country,” said Alcala

Like other FCA facilities around the world, the Ranjangaon plant is implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), a structured and rigorous production system that encompasses all plant processes. It focuses on eliminating waste, increasing productivity and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. Plant employees are engaged to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their facilities, promoting a strong sense of ownership. Using a common production language, best practices and know-how can be exchanged and shared across the Company’s global manufacturing footprint, thus accelerating the rate of improvement at all facilities.

“To be part of the development of Compass and witness its roll out for the first time brings us a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction,” said Boparai. “The build quality we have achieved in the development stage of the Compass is truly world class and is an example of superior technological and manufacturing excellence. We are immensely proud that Indian customers can soon own a locally-made Jeep SUV that is built to the highest quality standards,” he said.

The Compass is expected to be in full production by July 2017 and vehicles are expected to arrive in dealerships across India during the third quarter of 2017 in three variants: Sport, Longitude and Limited.

Locally, the Compass will come equipped with various combinations of diesel and petrol engines paired with manual and automatic transmissions, offering customers over 50 trim configurations and value packages.

By the end of 2017, the Jeep brand’s portfolio in India will consist of three new models. The locally-produced Jeep Compass will join the iconic Jeep Wrangler and the world’s most awarded SUV, the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Shipping for RHD markets outside India will start in the last quarter of 2017.

FCA is an international auto group engaged in industrial activities in the automotive sector through companies located in 40 countries and has customers in approximately 150 countries. The group owns brands such as Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Ram, SRT brands as well as luxury cars under the Maserati brands.

As for Jeep, the vehicle is considered an authentic SUV. The Jeep vehicle line-up in India consists of the Jeep Wrangler, Grand Cherokee and now the Jeep Compass.

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