Canadian Manufacturing

Chrysler launching Jeep production in China next year for local market

Agreement with Guangzhou Automobile Group will see three models produced in China

BEIJING—China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC Group) will begin producing a trio of new Jeep brand vehicles under an expanded joint venture with the American automaker’s parent firms.

Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A. and Chrysler Group International LLC, the two sides of the soon-to-be-merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), announced the deal with the GAC Group that will see three new Jeep models in China late next year for the local market, including one model designed specifically for the Chinese market.

“(This) announcement represents the next chapter in the proper utilization and expansion on a global scale of the Jeep brand,” Fiat and Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne said in a release.

“Equally important is our continued development in the Chinese market with an established and respected partner such as Guangzhou Automobile Group.”

As part of the agreement, GAC Fiat will build an assembly plant in Guangzhou, in Guandong province near Hong Kong, to build the expanded portfolio of vehicles.

According to the automaker, China is the largest Jeep market outside of the United States, with nearly 60,000 Jeep vehicles sold in 2013.

The brand saw an annual growth rate there of 29 per cent.

Production is expected to begin by late 2015.

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