The Jeep Cherokee is once again being made in China.Jeep has officially started Chinese production of its Cherokee SUV at a new joint-venture plant located in the country's Hunan Province. The Cherokee is being produced through a joint-venture between Jeep-parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and China's GAC Group.The start of Cherokee production was celebrated with a ceremony at the Changsha, China, production facility. The event was attended by representatives from FCA and GAC, as well as several government officials.
"The roll out of the Chinese-produced Jeep Cherokee is a major step in the deepened cooperation between the GAC Group and the FCA Group," Zeng Qinghong, general manager of GAC, said. "Along with the localization of the Jeep brand and the introduction of Chrysler models in the future, our brand combination and product portfolio will further raise our business, and lead to a balanced and diversified development with Western partners of the GAC Group to expand our industrial distribution, deepening the implementation of our "3+e" strategy."
Mike Manley, head of Jeep, added: "The Jeep brand was the first western automaker to produce vehicles in China more than 30 years ago. Today, with the support of our GAC partners, our brand is back to its rightful place in this market."
The Jeep Cherokee was first built in China back in 1985. Those first Cherokees were built by AMC through a joint-venture company known as Beijing Jeep. Jeep ceased production in China in 2006.
The factory will initially produce Cherokees with a 2.4L engine, but a 2.0L engine is also planned. Set to hit the market by the end of the year, the China-spec Jeep Cherokee will carry a base price of RMB 200,000, which converts to about $31,500. Top-spec models will command RMB 300,000, or about $47,000.