This may be the first ever JEEPAG’s all regional groups meet with Jeepers of WW, BJC, IJ, GoJ and DJ driving down to the factory together. The Jeepers kicked off with a group partying a day prior to the plant visit, a night rather midnight well spent sharing skills of our JCs and other club activities.
An early morning assembly and timely co-ordination by WW team, JCs lined up in batches for flag off to the factory. As usual the predicted traffic slugged the time taken to reach factory. A warm welcome with breakfast was waiting for everyone and the checkin was so quick as it was well organized by the FCA team.
A brief introduction about the plant and their management team, the Jeepers were escorted in batches to various sections. As usual WW had arranged for an enlightening cake with milestones of the trails.
The factory produces around 40 different variants of Jeep Compass catering to the 13 countries. Almost with 65% localization including the diesel engines, the facility is gearing up for more localization.
They manufacturer 40000 diesel engines presently in this facility catering for all brands like Fiat, Tata, Jeep and Suzuki. The production capacity will be expanded soon to 1 lakh plus engines with rotational shifts for the staff. The doors of JC was laser welded – this was first time in India.
The petrol automatic variant engine and transmission is completely imported and they do not have the facility to manufacture here in India as of now.
There was a display of the diesel engine and transmission in transparent enclosures and everyone had hands on experience on the technology inside these machines.
A break for delicious lunch which no one expected to be organized with such great hospitality inside a factory, and the journey continued for further sections of plant.
We were also able to have glimpse of the test tract in their facility, wherein the Jeeps were tested for up to 120kmph and along side a track to test the suspension and ground force tests. A tests are also carried out to ascertain the performance of the vehicle with speed breakers, kickers and maneuvering cones circuit. We did not get any clarity about where the crash tests were performed.
It was a breath taking view through the safety goggles as how the state of the art robots perform their job with a thread thickness accuracy.
The assembly is fully automated that it can produce any variant, any brand and any model car at the same time, as we witnessed there were competitors cars running along with different variants of JCs.
Every Jeeper were thrilled to have a glimpse of the trail hawk variant (even though none of us were allowed even to open the doors), it was a masterpiece of all standing next to it. Few of us also had a sneak peak to the remotely parked Renegade.
Everyone’s curiosity about the sun roof addition to their existing JCs was self-explanatory, once they saw as how the sun roof plate was built by the robot lines. Hey Jeepers please DON’T ever think of cutting your roofs – this will have major safety concern. Only FIAPL at Ranjagoan is certified for such high standard production of safe structures for your Jeeps, and be proud that your JC is manufactured in the south Asia’s best and unsurpassed factory.
There was a discounted counter for accessories and a send off note with high tea which concluded the journey to plant. As a customary by FCA team, a refreshments / snacks kit was provided for everyone at exit. Thanking the FCA team and WWs for such a wonderful experience and promising a greater safety in our JCs everyone departed to their respective locations.
Happy Jeeping Jeepers, after the witnessing the built process we have more confidence on our beasts.