The Jeep Compass seems to have hit a purple patch, for the American SUV has managed to beat its Indian competitors – the Mahindra XUV500 and the Tata Hexa – in a big way. And the Hyundai Tucson didn’t even manage to sell a tenth of the Compass.
In November 2017, Jeep India dispatched 2,828 units of the Compass while Mahindra managed 1,229 units of the XUV500, Tata pushed out 764 units of the Hexa while Hyundai did only 261 units of the Tucson. While the month-on-month numbers of the Compass has been growing, the Hexa and XUV have rapidly lost sales.
What explains this?
Firstly, the demand for the Compass is stiff. Many variants of the SUV command considerable waiting times. This has led to Jeep pushing out Compass SUVs out of the factory, into dealer stockyards even in November 2017. Generally, car makers go slow on November and December dispatches, as buyers tend to stay away from the car market at the fag end of the year, instead waiting for the new year to make fresh purchases.
Some bit of this could be playing out in case of both the XUV and Hexa. In fact, dispatches of both the SUVs have shown precipitous drops; XUV numbers have fallen over 50 % from last month’s dispatches ( from 2,697 units to 1,229 units) while it’s been a similar case with the Hexa (from 1,041 units to 764 units). In case of the Compass – which enjoys high demand and a long waiting list – numbers have grown (from 2,455 units to 2,828 units).
For the record, it’s for the first time ever that the Mahindra XUV500 has been pushed down from the top-perch that it first occupied way back in October 2011. Whether the Compass consistently outsells the XUV500 is something only a few more months of sales data will tell us. Until then though, here’s what Jeep and Mahindra are planning to do to keep the pot boiling.
In early 2018, Jeep plans to launch the automatic variants of the Compass Diesel, and this could further push up volumes a lot of buyers now seek diesel-automatics – cars that marry the frugality of a diesel with the convenience of an automatic gearbox. Notably, both the XUV and Hexa offer this combination.
Mahindra has just launched the XUV500 Petrol-Automatic, and at a price that much lower than that of the Compass Petrol AT. Another salvo is expected to be fired in 2018, in the form of a 170 Bhp XUV500 Diesel. Clearly, the war isn’t over yet.