Chrysler has announced a deal with Guangzhou Automobile Group, a Chinese manufacturer, that will bring Jeep production back to China. This won't be the first time the popular brand has been manufactured in China, with the initial production round taking place in 1983 and ending in 2009. Three import models are still available in the nation, but this deal will be a big step in expanding the Jeep brand there.
In addition to Jeep production, the deal with Guangzhou also allows for the building of more Fiat models, which is also owned by Chrysler. For now, Chrysler has an estimated 150 dealerships in China, and has stated plans to increase that number to 200 by the end of the year. The three imported models available for sale in China already include the Grand Cherokee, Jeep Compass, and Jeep Wrangler.
Chief Operating Office of Chrysler and Fiat in Asia Mike Manley offered this statement. "The expansion of the agreement with our GAC partners will allow us to unleash the potential of both our Fiat and Chrysler Group brands in China ... The reality is you can't ignore the size of the market or the opportunity that it represents."
This comes after the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT's unveiling today. The SUV features a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine with 465 pound-foot of torque, as well as an 8-speed transmission and towing capacity up to 7,200 pounds, a reported 44-percent increase over the 2013 model. To keep fuel costs down while being a tad more environmentally friendly, the vehicle also features Eco-Mode, a feature that optimizes transmission shifting. Sadly, there's no pricing or available info yet.