Later this year, Jeep Meridian (three-row Compass) will be launched in India to take on the hot-selling Toyota Fortuner
Reuters reports Christian Meunier, Chief Executive Officer, Jeep has said that he was ‘not happy with the volumes in India.’ In January 2022, the SUV specialist shipped just 861 vehicles to its dealership, leading to a negligible market share of merely 0.3%. Furthermore, he has spoken about his company’s plans of establishing a firmer foothold in the Indian car market through the launch of two new SUVs.
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Meunier has been clear about the company’s plan of focussing harder on the SUV market to take on Hyundai and Kia, the two leading players in this segment. In line with this, the carmaker has earmarked an investment of USD 250 million to launch as many as four new SUVs in the near future. However, he has been clear about not having any intention to engage in pricing wars with other players. On the same time, he has benchmarked the company’s sales performance in Brazil for the Indian subsidiary. It must be noted that Jeep India sells less than a 1,000 units in a month, which is several times lower than the average monthly sale of 15,000 units in the South American country.
Jeep Meridian (3-row Compass) India Launch on Anvil
“We’re not investing all this money in India for not getting success. We’re not here to lose, we’re here to win,” added Meunier. Speaking on the electrification plan, the executive said that Jeep would introduce an eSUV only once the market is ripe for such a model. Later this year, the carmaker will launch the Meridian and the Grand Cherokee. While the former will be locally produced, the latter will be brought to our shores via CKD route. The local pricing of the Meridian should help the carmaker price the upcoming three row SUV competitively.
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Speaking about the specifications of the Meridian, it’s almost for sure that the SUV will be initially launched only with the tried-and-tested 2.0-litre Multijet II diesel engine that will be shared with the Compass. For the latter, this motor outputs a maximum of 175PS of power and 350Nm of torque. This oil-burner could be re-tuned to offer some extra grunt for the Toyota Fortuner-rival. Transmissions options would include a 6-speed manual and a 9-speed automatic unit. The latter is expected to be offered with both 4×2 and 4×4 options. The carmaker has already mentioned the SUV would offer multiple traction control modes to help it take on varied terrains such as snow, sand and mud.