Jeep may produce SUV’s in China image

Jeep CEO Mike Manley hopes to negotiate a deal in the next several weeks that will result in Jeep production in China.

Automotive News reports that Jeep chief executive Mike Manley flew to China on 14 September to discuss the proposition with the Chinese manufacturer – Guangzhou, which already operates a joint venture with Chrysler’s partner Fiat.

“Fiat has a very strong partner there so I will be discussing various options with them,” Manley said during an interview at the Frankfurt auto show.

“If I can localize Jeep you are going to see many, many multiples of what we sell today.”

The executive told Automotive News that most probably Compass, Patriot and Wrangler would be the first SUV’s to be made in China if the deal succeeds. Another unnamed little SUV is in discussions.

Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne signed an agreement with China’s Guangzhou Auto back in 2009 to produce Linea sedans. The Fiat-Guangzhou JV is still on track to produce 140,000 vehicles together, and to be fully operational by the end of 2011.
The plant initially will produce 140,000 cars and 220,000 engines a year, with the potential to increase to a maximum 250,000 cars and 300,000 engines a year, Fiat said.