Jeep Compass petrol engine discontinued
Jeep has recently made the decision to discontinue the petrol variant of the Jeep Compass in India due to the engine’s inability to meet the latest BS6 Phase 2 emissions standards. The discontinuation was initially started with the manual variants in December 2022, and now even the petrol engine with the DCT automatic gearbox has been taken off the market. This move leaves Jeep with a diesel-only SUV lineup, eliminating a petrol option from its lower-end portfolio. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind Jeep’s inability to offer a Compass petrol model and the implications for Jeep India.
Globally, Jeep had already ceased production of the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine due to stricter emissions norms in other markets. Most of these markets received the facelifted Compass with a more efficient 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine. However, India continued with the 1.4-litre engine since it complied with the BS6 Phase 1 emissions regulations implemented at that time. Anticipating the stricter BS6 Phase 2 emissions norms in India, Jeep could have ideally replaced the outgoing 1.4-litre engine with the new 1.3-litre unit. However, this wasn’t a viable option for Jeep due to local sales and export volumes.
The petrol variant accounted for a significant portion of Compass sales in India, ranging from 50-60 percent nationwide and even up to 80 percent in certain metro cities like Delhi. However, the Compass’s average monthly sales of around 650 units meant that the petrol variants contributed only around 350-400 units per month. From a business perspective, introducing an all-new engine for such a limited number of units is not financially viable.
Additionally, the arrival of the facelifted Compass led to the production of right-hand drive (RHD) versions in Italy for export markets. This shift resulted in India losing a substantial share of export volumes and further reduced economies of scale for localizing and manufacturing the 1.3-litre engine.
Jeep could have acted earlier to avoid this situation, as developing and launching a new powertrain in a new market typically takes two to three years. However, without active investment from the brand in developing and launching market-specific products, a viable business case may not emerge.
The only possibility for a petrol engine to make a comeback in the Compass line-up in India would be with the next-generation model expected in 2026, which may also include an all-electric version.
In the near future, the Compass and the Meridian models will continue to rely solely on a diesel engine, while the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler flagship models will have petrol engines. This shift leaves Jeep vulnerable in the mass-market segment that is increasingly moving away from diesel engines. With petrol variants contributing significantly to Compass sales, Jeep India could experience a notable drop in overall volumes. Additionally, the Meridian’s performance hasn’t met expectations, making the withdrawal of the petrol engine even more challenging for the brand.
Jeep India’s Statement:
Jeep India has stated that the premium SUV segment continues to show strong demand for diesel powertrains. The company remains committed to investing in and developing efficient 2.0 L MultiJet Turbo Diesel powertrains that offer superior torque, lower emissions, and impressive fuel efficiency. Jeep India acknowledges the evolving market preferences and expresses its commitment to exploring all possible engine and fuel options to offer what is most relevant to consumers.