The Fiat-Chrysler Group has recently announced that negotiations with the Guangzhou Automobile Group have started and a possible joint venture will allow Jeeps to be manufactured in China.
After the British based automaker Land Rover is getting ready to assemble the new generation of the Defender in India, the over-seas Jeep brand might be manufactured in China, if the negotiations between Fiat-Chrysler and Guangzhou Automobile Group will get “the green light”. According to detroitnews.com, the company’s official, Mike Manley, said that China represents a huge opportunity for Fiat and Chrysler Group LLC, but both automakers have a lot of catching up to do in order to hit the sales targets outlined in the 2009 tie-up.
“If you look at our aspirations for volumes in 2014, 2015, some of the keys to unlocking that is significant growth in China. But it’s one of the most competitive marketplaces in the world. We are, to a large extent, late to the party”, said the head of Fiat-Chrysler’s Asia operations, Mike Manley.
The Jeep was the first western auto brand in China, and back in 1984, American Motors Corp, owner of Jeep at the time, had established the first joint venture with a local automaker in order to manufacture Cherokees. Three years later, that shattered, after Chrysler has purchased AMC in 1987. Even so, Jeep is still selling model in China, and only in 2011, 22.294 units were sold, compared to 12.364 in 2010.