We’re quite used to seeing Jeep knockoffs come out of Asia (e.g. SsangYong Korando generations one through three), but if a new report is to be believed, we may start seeing the fair dinkum being built in Asia once again, too.
According to Bloomberg, Chrysler parent Fiat is in serious negotiations with its Chinese joint venture partner, Guangzhou Automobile Group, over plans to build Jeeps locally. Of course, the brand previously built models in China before Fiat came into its management picture, but now there’s talk of possibly assembling more than one model – and possibly the entire brand portfolio – in China. The additional capacity would likely only augment Jeep’s US output, not replace it.
Jeep currently builds all of its models in the US, but it has been enjoying rapidly growing overseas sales and is looking to capitalize on its momentum. Bloomberg notes that the marque is targeting sales of 500,000 overseas units, which would represent a three-fold increase over its 2009 numbers. In fact, more than three out of four overseas deliveries for Chrysler brands this year have carried a seven-slot grille. Demand for the Grand Cherokee and Compass models in China are said to be particularly strong.