Jeep Plans Its China Comeback

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
jeep plans its china comeback

The first American automobile built as a joint venture in China could soon be built at a China joint venture again. Fiat plans to bring Jeep production back to the Middle Kingdom, Bloomberg says.

Mike Manley, COO of Fiat and Chrysler in Asia told Bloomberg that Fiat is in “very detailed conversations” with its joint venture partner Guangzhou Automobile (GAC). Manley is currently evaluating whether his company should “be localizing the entire Jeep portfolio or some of the Jeep portfolio.”

Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.

Despite being imported at high prices from America, Jeep sales in China have more than doubled to 33,463 this year through September. The brand topped total deliveries for all of 2011 by July of this year.

The Jeep Cherokee XJ was the first joint venture car in China. In 1985, the first kit-built Cherokees rolled down the line in the new factory in Beijing. When Chrysler bought AMC, it became the new owner of the 50 percent share of the Beijing-Jeep joint venture. In 2009, Chrysler abandoned the Beijing-Jeep joint venture. The Cherokee lived on as the BAW Qishi S12. It still is in active duty at the Chinese army.

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  • AJ AJ on Oct 22, 2012

    I don't see much difference between the UAW building vehicles and the Chinese.

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Oct 22, 2012

    It would be great if they kept Liberty produced in China.

    • Solracer Solracer on Oct 23, 2012

      Really? As the former owner of a Cherokee I never warmed to the Liberty, the gen 1 I rented seemed tippy by comparison and too plasticy inside. Not to mention the styling never really did it for me and the gen 2 redesign made it even worse. But as the new Grand Cherokee is great-looking I have high hopes that the next-generation Liberty (which may be called Cherokee) will get back to the roots of the original Cherokee but in a modern interpretation.

  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.
  • Marvin Im a current owner of a 2012 Golf R 2 Door with 5 grand on the odometer . Fun car to drive ! It's my summer cruiser. 2006 GLI with 33,000 . The R can be money pit if service by the dealership. For both cars I deal with Foreign car specialist , non union shop but they know their stuff !!! From what I gather the newer R's 22,23' too many electronic controls on the screen, plus the 12 is the last of the of the trouble free ones and fun to drive no on screen electronics Maze !
  • VoGhost It's very odd to me to see so many commenters reflexively attack an American company like this. Maybe they will be able to find a job with BYD or Vinfast.