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C100, New Compass to be Mexican?

by David Zatz on

Jeep was once a worldwide company, leaving a legacy of “Jeep-like” cars from companies around the world, but no “foreign” Jeeps had been sold in the United States until the Renegade was imported from Italy. AMC did build Jeeps in Canada for some years; and now it seems that Mexico may start building its first Jeeps for American consumption.

2016 Jeep Compass

Observers have long wondered what Toluca, Mexico would make, once the Fiat 500 returned to Europe and the Dodge Journey left. Toluca has an adaptable workforce capable of high quality assembly.

The Jeep Compass is reportedly an extended version of the Jeep Renegade now, not unlike the unreleased Fiat 500XL. Mules have been spotted wearing Renegade bodies with around six inches of sheet metal welded into the middle, though mules can be misleading. The launch date is still well over a year off, in late 2016, though Renegade has been around for a while.

The delays may be due to the need to make a longer vehicle that is nimble enough to deal with off-road trails, and strong enough to withstand repeated shocks and impacts.

The long development time for Compass might be due to a desire to have it pass the “Rubicon test,” perhaps using a turbocharged four-cylinder engine which is not yet ready, or a diesel for greater torque.

Regardless, the body has to be extra-tough to handle the shocks of going off-road on a regular basis. The current Compass is not known for its clearance or articulation, but it can handle a pounding.

The new Jeep is not yet officially named, but is coded MP. The name Compass may survive, and insider sources have said it looks like a miniature Jeep Grand Cherokee, just as the current Compass does. Nothing has been officially stated yet.

Reliable source oh2o wrote that the Jeep Compass would indeed become the first Jeep we know of to be made in Mexico. This seems to be the most likely use of the Toluca plant, which could presumably also make the Chrysler 100 using the same carriers — increasing Toluca’s output, since making two cars of similar length would shorten gaps between cars.

To date, nothing is publicly official, and plans can change.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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