News - Jeep Compass
Jeep Compass plots global course
Bearing race: Careful consideration of different worldwide regional demands has resulted in a more universally appealing Compass, says its maker.
Testing on six continents, production in four countries takes Jeep Compass global
3 March 2017
JEEP is persevering with its strategy to become a more global brand with
testing of its new Compass small SUV carried out on more continents and
production chalked for more countries than any model before it.
The plan to offer its range of SUVs in more markets around the world was
initiated by the Cherokee mid-sizer and followed by the Renegade baby of the
line-up, but the latest addition to the Jeep stable underwent development on
six continents and will be produced in four different countries, making it the
most global model to date, it says.
Speaking at the world first drive of the 2017 Compass in Texas, Jeep Compass
chief engineer Audrey Moore told GoAuto that considering a wider spread of
regional demands was one of the greatest challenges for the engineering team.
“For this vehicle there were really two things,” she said. “The first one was
the fact that this was the first truly global Jeep that we’ve designed – built
in four different countries around the world, making sure that we had a Jeep
that satisfied the customers around the world.
“Trying to incorporate into the vehicle all of the things that every customer
needs was the first time for Jeep really. It was unique and it was different
and there were some moments when it was a little challenging for us to make the
right trade-offs for every region.”
Ms Moore explained that the iconic car-maker started its bid to appeal to more
nations with the Cherokee before turning its focus to the Renegade, but the
Compass takes that strategy to a new level of worldwide versatility.
“When we took our evolution of the Jeep product we started with the Cherokee
and we started shipping that to 135 different countries. When we brought in the
Renegade it was truly starting to become more global because it was built in
other regions to be shipped into more countries.
“When it came to the Compass though this is truly the first time where we
tested it in six continents around the world.”
To develop the new Compass for a broader audience, the Jeep engineering team
closely examined the needs of more global markets and considered a greater
number of parameters when developing the second-generation car.
Ms Moore said a massive amount of data was required to ensure the new Compass
would appeal to the widest range of potential Jeep customers around the world
with everything from climate, styling, consumer habits and vehicle applications
taken into consideration.
“We talked to every region and their customers and we put all of that detail
together in much more detail than we ever have. Each customer base has a
different perspective, a different use case, they like things a little bit
As is typical for any vehicle destined for a diverse number of global regions,
the Compass was tested in all environments from arid and dusty, through wet and
humid, to sub-zero icy climes and Ms Moore explained that the model almost made
it on to red dirt as part of the development.
“We didn’t quite make it to Australia but we did go to New Zealand,” she said.
New Zealand provided the Jeep’s trial in cold icy conditions near Queenstown on
the South Island.
When they start to roll out on Australian roads late thins year, local versions
of the Compass will be supplied by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) factory in
India, but Ms Moore explained that there would be no differences in quality or
materials compared with versions built at the Mexican, Brazilian or Chinese
Together with fellow Compass engineer Jim Lyijynen, Ms Moore has been
intensively involved with monitoring the quality of each facility prior to the
various lines starting up and during the early stages of production.
“The great thing with us is that Jim and myself have the global lead,” she
said. “We meet, personally, every one of the regions and we use the same
tracking measures between every region to make sure the output is the same.”
As the last of the four factories to start production of the Compass, Ms Moore
said the Indian factory was expected to be the most efficient, with all the
lessons learned from the other three earlier sites ploughed into the
manufacturing regimes in India.
“India being the fourth plant has all the lessons learned from everywhere else
incorporated there as well as the same people who have seen any other issues
and can make a comparison from all the other regions. So actually they have a
little bit of a leg up.
“The same level of requirement for interior performance, fits, finish, those
same measures are applied for every region.”
Ms Moore has been working with Jeep for a majority of her career and, before
the Compass project, led the development of the Renegade compact SUV.
Before rising to the position of one of Jeep’s highest ranking engineers Ms
Moore built extensive experience in the areas of wheels, tyres, suspension and
steering engineering and humbly describes herself as a “chassis rat” in