Automobiles News

stellantis group: Jeep looks to reboot its India presence as competition heats up


MUMBAI: Jeep, the iconic American brand, is rebooting its presence in India amid falling sales, high cost of owning the brand, and growing competition in the premium SUV market. The seven-year-old brand in India, which sells the Compass, Meridian, Grand Cherokee, and Wrangler models in the premium and super premium segment, is also considering introducing the 4Xe, Jeep’s electrified brand, to India.

Under the leadership of Aditya Jairaj who took charge as the deputy managing director of Stellantis Group in India and head-Jeep brand operations in May, the carmaker has launched a consumer scheme that is aimed at bringing down the initial purchase ownership cost. As part of making the price-to-value more attractive, it has discontinued the entry level variants of the Meridian—its three row SUV to re-align it with the market demand for higher trim variants.

Additionally, it’s looking to step up the brand and marketing spends in the world’s fifth largest auto market as it seeks to get back to a position where it was two years ago. The exhead of EV strategy and transformation at Nissan Motor is also preparing the ground for launch of electrified models.

“4Xe is the new 4X4. We are evaluating it for the Indian market, and we will bring it when the time is right,” Jairaj told ET.


« Back to recommendation stories

Jeep’s cumulative sales in India dropped by 30% to 4,247 units in the first half of the current calendar year over a year ago period as the company discontinued the petrol variant of the Compass ahead of the implementation of the BSVI, phase-II emission norms in April this year.

This was in contrast to the broader market trend where manufacturers are favouring petrol and strong hybrids while phasing out diesel powertrains. Additionally, launch of more attractively priced models by rivals and a delay in launch of newer models by Jeep also pulled down overall volumes.

But, Jairaj believes there is more to it than just the product. “The demand generated by value needs to be communicated to all the stakeholders at regular frequency. One of our top priorities now is to reinforce the brand which hasn’t been done enough. The urban SUV market is a jungle. It’s our responsibility to be able to communicate the brand value to the end-consumers so that they see the value in the price that they are paying,” he added.


Source link