By Paul Rachwal
Monday, Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 4:29 pm
 

Fiat is planning on bringing back production of Jeep vehicles to Chinese plants, with the eventual goal being to make all Jeeps sold in China locally. Chrysler hasn't built Jeeps in China, the world's largest auto market, since well before Fiat took it over in 2009.

Fiat and Chinese partner Guangzhou Automobile Group are in deep negotiations about building Jeeps in China to satisfy local demand, Chief Operating Office of Fiat and Chrysler, as well as Jeep president Mike Manley said in a Bloomberg report.

Chrysler has plans to more than triple its sales outside of its home market of North America from levels in 2009, with a projected 500,000 annual sales by 2014. Currently, all Jeeps are built in Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio.

Thirst for Grand Cherokee and Compass SUVs in China has doubled from the start of the year until September in 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, at 33,463 units.

Currently, Fiat and Guangzhou's plant in Changsha, in China's central region, can produce 140,000 vehicles per year. It has the capacity to eventually assemble 500,000 vehicles per year, with the owners planning on adding a new vehicle line every 12 months. The compact Fiat Viaggio started production in June.