A couple of weeks ago, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) Melfi Assembly Plant (home to the Jeep® Renegade and Fiat 500X crossovers) kicked off the first test for a new dedicated line for the Jeep Compass for the European market. The Compass has become the most popular SUV in the EMEA region and with European production models coming from the Toluca Assembly Plant in Toluca, Mexico, it makes sense that FCA is expanding production for the popular global Jeep.
The addition of the Jeep Compass to the Melfi Assembly Plant is also related to the introduction of the new Jeep Compass PHEV, that will go on sale in Europe this year. This will make the fifth assembly plant globally to build the Jeep Compass (Mexico, Brazil, China, India, and Italy). Besides the logistical reasons, there are a lot of reasons why the Compass will join the lineup at the Melfi Assembly Plant.
In 2018, more than 78,000 units were registered in the EMEA region, making it the best-selling Jeep vehicle with 40% of the volume of the brand. The Compass is in the largest and fastest-growing segment of compact SUVs. In Europe, the compact SUV segment represents 45% of the region’s overall SUV market.
Recently, the Toluca Assembly Plant hit a milestone of building their 600,000th unit of the current generation being built since its introduction in 2017. The Melfi plant also builds the North American version of the 2020 Jeep Renegade and has built more than 900,000 units of the compact Jeeps since the model’s debut in the 2015 model year. This has made the Melfi plant one of the keys to Jeep’s global success in recent years.
The brand recently announced the introduction of the 2020 Jeep Compass PHEV and 2020 Jeep Renegade PHEV models, earlier this year at the Geneva International Motor Show. Both vehicles will feature a new plug-in hybrid system that allows batteries that are rechargeable from an external power outlet and, as a consequence, can store more electric energy. That translates into a pure electric range of approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) and about 130 km/h (81 mph) full-electric top speed for both Renegade and Compass.
The electric motors work in synergy with the new 1.3-liter turbo four-cylinder gas engine (found in the 2019 Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500X) but offers increased efficiency and power (up to 240 horsepower with electric motor assist). This allows for a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time in about 7-seconds.
Production of the EMEA 2020 Jeep Compass models will begin in the first quarter of 2020.
2020 Jeep® Compass PHEV At Melfi Plant Image Gallery: