Fiat and Guangzhou Annouce Jeep Assembly in China

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff

You may recall that the possibility of building Jeeps in China (something that actually started decades ago when the brand was owned by American Motors) became an issue in last year’s U.S. presidential election campaign. According to reports in Chinese media, the Fiat and Guangzhou Automobile groups have reached a tentative agreement to assemble Jeeps in the companies’ joint venture Changsha factory in central China.

Citing sources in the Changsha municipal government, Shanghai’s National Business Daily said that a formal agreement will be signed in the next few months. The news follows January’s announcement of a preliminary agreement between Chrysler (which is majority owned by Fiat) and Guangzhou to build Jeep branded vehicles in China. Apparently the two parties, though, disagreed as to which plant would assemble the Jeeps. Fiat-Chrysler wanted to use GAC Fiat Automobile Co.’s factory in Changsha, a JV that it already operates with Guangzhou, while Guangzhou Auto wanted to use it’s own factory in Guangzhou.

Now that the disagreement has been resolved, the Changsha GAC Fiat plant will build Jeeps on an assembly line shared with the Fiat Viaggio compact sedan, which will increase utilization of that facility. It has a capacity of 140,000 units but so far in 2013, GAC Fiat has sold only 20,000 Viaggios.

TTAC Staff
TTAC Staff

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  • Romismak Romismak on Aug 22, 2013

    Jeep should have been producing in China years, last year they were about 50k units sold purely imports with high tarrifs, jeep brand is iconic in China with many shops with jeep logos, merchandise and so on, if they would have been in China years, and lower prices they would sell maybe 300-400k units year somewhere around great wall, right now Chinese SUV market is booming, so Jeep should start production as soon as they can, every day they are loosing sales in China, because they sales could have been bigger i mean Jeeps in China are selling for 150-170k USD - and still they are biggest purely import brand, maybe Lexus is bigger with 60k units last year, but they need production there for sure

  • LDMAN1 LDMAN1 on Aug 22, 2013

    Given the track record of Fiat Joint Ventures in China I am not holding my breath.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Aug 22, 2013

    Well, the US has forced foreign manufacturers to build in the US. Why not the US (Italians) build in foreign countries. The US will eventually buy Chinese cars, they have no choice in the future. The Chinese will eventually make it possible to import into China easier, just like the US will have to sooner or later drop its high tariffsa and barriers and let vehicles into the country. You can't have two ways, America has a strong protectionist market, the Chinese has a strong protectionist market. Within a decade or less the Chinese vehicles will be of very good quality, just as good as the US or even better. China already has the largest sales of new vehicles in the world, this is just the beginning. Some companies will lose and some will win. A Jeep from China will be no worse than a Jeep from the US at the moment. You guys can call the Chinese names and be arrogant like the Europeans were at the end of the 19th century towards the US. Look at history and learn. You will have to tolerate and equal in economic influence, but it will take the Chinese years to learn how to manage political influence. The West is still learning.

    • See 4 previous
    • Doctor olds Doctor olds on Aug 22, 2013

      @BAFO- So, you really have no basis for your statement other than some vague notion of the flow of history? I guess I knew that, really.

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Aug 22, 2013

    China only allows "partnerships" with Chinese companies. It is a Faustian Bargain. China has p!ss poor copyright and trademark laws/enforcement. Partnership means the sharing of intellectual property. Down the road, China could expel or close shop to foreign companies and market products on what they learned/stole. When it comes to the USA market, most of the stuff in Walmart is Chinese and people buy it in droves because they want to maintain their standard of living. China could do the same with the auto industry. Buy Chinese or face a drop in standard of living by purchasing domestic. People are inherently selfish, which will they choose?