DETROIT (MCT) — With strong name recognition and now a respected Chinese partner, Jeep is ready to get back in the thick of the world's largest auto market.
On Tuesday, Fiat and Chrysler Group announced a deal with Guangzhou Automobile Group that is expected to lead to resumption of Jeep production in China for the first time since 2006.
The Chinese government must approve the deal before the partners can build a compact Jeep SUV by the end of 2014 and several more models in the next five to 10 years.
"From my perspective, we need to get to production as soon as possible," said Jeep CEO Mike Manley.
In 1983, Jeep became the first U.S. automaker to sell vehicles in China. But Chrysler's former owner Daimler pulled out of the country in 2006.
China has become the largest automotive market in the world and any automaker with ambitions of being a global player must have a manufacturing presence there.
In 2012, 19.3 million cars and trucks were purchased in China, or nearly 5 million more than in the U.S. Jeep sold 73,697 SUVs in Asia last year — a 94 percent increase over 2011, but it is only a minor player.
Chinese regulations require that Western automakers that wish to produce vehicles in China do so with a joint venture partner. Guangzhou, which has joint ventures with Toyota, Honda and Fiat, is among several state-run automakers.
- Protesters from across U.S. arrested at Utah...
- Balancing act: Survey says lack of balance,...
- Z'Tejas closing after 13 years at The Gateway
- Dave Ramsey says: Don't leave an estate with...
- New solar energy project at Utah Olympic Oval...
- Company plans to hire up to 1,000 new...
- $1.8B project to take Salt Lake City...
- Parks visitors spent $596M in Utah last year
- Obama gives protection to gay,... 6
- New solar energy project at Utah... 5
- Future of Draper Park School building... 4
- Protesters from across U.S. arrested at... 4
- Parks visitors spent $596M in Utah last... 3
- Project aims to improve wireless... 2
- Balancing act: Survey says lack of... 2
- US-EU trade talks sour amid chlorine... 1