Chrysler Near Finalizing China Jeep Manufacturing Deal
Cherokee, Renegade Leading Candidates for Local Market
The Jeep brand is pivotal in Chrysler's quest for global growth, and is expected to make up a significant part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' growth in emerging markets. Traditionally, most Jeep models have been built in the U.S., but many of the fastest-growing car markets have fiercely protectionist policies favoring locally built vehicles. One of those markets is China. Before the official merging of operations in January, negotiations had started to build Jeep models at Fiat partner plant Guangzhou Automotive. Local officials had some reservations at the time with the two companies not being an officially merged entity. Now that FCA is one global unit, CEO Sergio Marchionne says negotiations with Chinese officials have been fast-tracked, and the deal to build Jeeps at the Guangzhou plant could be finalized very soon, Automotive News reports.
The combined investment of FCA and Guangzhou Auto in the Jeep facility is expected to total $771 million, with an annual production capacity of 60,000 units. The two most likely models to be built at the plant are the new Cherokee and the just-introduced Jeep Renegade compact. Jeep brand CEO Mike Manley said he was optimistic about the negotiations, but added that experience has taught him to be patient when doing business in China.
Source: Automotive News