GAC FCA Joint Venture to Make Jeep Cherokee in China by Year’s End, Two More Models in 2016

2015 Jeep Cherokee 1 photo
Photo: Jeep
Even though China’s need for new cars is slowing down as of late, the Asian country still is one of the most important markets for four-wheeled whatnots. Fiat Chrysler (or FCA) is present there through a joint venture with GAC and the latest announcement from GAC FCA tells that three Jeep models are to be produced locally by the end of next year.
The first of the lot is the KL-generation Jeep Cherokee, the brand’s mid-size crossover SUV. Currently built in Toledo, Ohio, the four-wheel drive Cherokee will be built in China by the end of the current calendar year. GAC (Guangzhou Automobile Group Co.) FCA (Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles) expects its Changsha and Guanghzhou manufacturing plants to reach a combined production capacity of 700,000 units by 2018.

Other than the locally produced Jeep Cherokee, the FCA-owned brand confirmed that it’s going to start making “two additional Jeep SUVs” by the end of calendar year 2016. Currently there’s no detailed intel on what those models may be, but GAC FCA promises that locally produced cars will abide by the World Class Manufacturing protocols that FCA employs throughout its global manufacturing facilities.

In addition to the three China-built Jeep models, GAC FCA agreed to “localize a Chrysler brand product,” but forgot to mention what that product may be. Considering that China is the second market for the Jeep brand outside the U. S. of A., localizing products isn’t a bad idea after all. The Chinese joint venture appointed FCA’s Daphne Zheng as CEO and GAC’s Chen Daohong as the executive vice president.

By 2018, GAC FCA expects to produce “eight competitive vehicles in China.” GAC General Manager Zeng Qinghong commented: “The formation of the GAC Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Sales Co. marks a new milestone in the development of the GAC-FCA partnership and a new extension of the depth and breadth of the relationship between the two groups. By 2020, the sales of GAC will reach 3 million units."
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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