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As the only Chinese automaker participating in this year’s North American International Auto Show, GAC (Guangzhou Auto) puts three alternative-fuel Trumpchi models on display in Detroit. Yet, it is not the cars that draw most attention to GAC. Under spotlight is the agreement the company reached with the Fiat-Chrysler alliance on producing Jeep SUVs in China.

Fiat’s intention to re-introduce Jeep to China has been known for some time. As the GAC-Fiat joint venture established itself and started production in Changsha, the capital of Hunan, many expected Jeep to find a Chinese home there too. So it comes as a surprise that, according to sources at GAC, Guangzhou will get the production line for the iconic American SUV brand.

In Changsha, where Fiat Viaggio is made, GAC-Fiat runs a factory that can roll out 140,000 vehicles a year. It plans to construct a new one in Guangzhou that will initially have an annual production capacity of 100,000 Jeeps a year (Alfa Romeo cars reportedly may also be manufactured there in the future).

GAC has not named the first Jeep model that is to roll off the line in Guangzhou. According to Zeng Qinghong, the company’s General Manager, it will be a newly developed car. "Jeep-brand products will be released in China towards the end of 2014. What is to go on sale at that time will not be one of the models currently available in China as imports. It will be an all-new Jeep SUV built on the latest platform, "said Mr. Zeng.

Two cars fit the description: the next generation Liberty and the B-segment, "baby" Jeep that will share a platform with Fiat 500x. As the popularity has already been built up for Liberty in China, where it saw sales surging 343% last year, its upcoming replacement may be the better choice. What’s more, local production of the next-gen Liberty may be easier, because it will share mechanic DNA with Fiat Viaggio, the Chinese version of Dodge Dart.

By basing Jeep in Guangzhou, its home city, GAC eyes a deepened cooperation with Fiat-Chrysler. "In the beginning period, Jeep models will be marketed through GAC’s dealership network. Jeep and GAC Trumpchi may be displayed in different showrooms, but can share repair shops. This would be a fast, effective sales approach. We do not rule out the possibility that a joint venture between Chrysler and GAC would be established in the future," says a high-level GAC official.

Jeep SUVs are currently sold in China through 145 Chrysler dealerships. Their deliveries more than doubled in 2012, making China the largest Jeep market outside North America.

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Forse qualcosa si muove
Despite Fiat Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne’s recent posturing on the Jeep-China issue, it seems that Fiat Chrysler are going to land their latest Cherokee into the current GAC Fiat joint venture.

Chinese media reports indicate that Fiat China CEO, Franco Amadei, appeared in Hong Kong along with Guangzhou Auto and Hunan Government representatives to sign a framework that will see Jeep enter into production in Changsha. The all new Changsha facility was launched in late 2012 and currently carries an annual production capacity of 140,000 vehicles per year whilst the sole car made there, the Viaggio sedan, has produced just under 15,300 vehicles in the first five months of 2013 – indicating a major overcapacity issue.

Media reports also indicate that the Fiat Freemont SUV, which is currently made in Mexico, will find its way into the Chinese facility which should bring down the cost of the vehicle substantially. Furthermore, the Viaggio hatchback is also scheduled to be put into production later this year.
(copy the link and delete blank spaces)

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Two cars fit the description: the next generation Liberty and the B-segment, "baby" Jeep that will share a platform with Fiat 500x.
I'm not shure about baby jeep and fiat 500x, they will be produced in Italy, in Melfi (they are modify the productions line in these months). by the way the platform is not the C-USW like Viaggio, Dart and Giulietta. But i'm searching news on it.

This is the 500x

Here is!
Both models will be underpinned by the Small Wide architecture that debuted last year on the 500L
So, it uses a different plattform from Viaggio. If they will intruduced the minijeep they can produced the 500L... ;):nod:

In test in Mirafiori:

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Other news about mini jeep:
The platform was not originally developed for off-road work, but Jeep is spending the money to make sure it can make it a reasonable distance off road.

“The base technology comes from existing platforms within Fiat. Then Fiat engineers and Jeep engineers make all of the appropriate changes to make a Jeep and that’s very important,” he said.

“We can do that because the way the technology has changed in the last few years in the way that we can do power take off units, how we can incorporate AWD, how we can do axle disconnects, all of those things.”

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Old but confirmed... the Viaggio-Ottima platform is the same of Jeep new Cherokee. It is possible this is the SUV for china market...
reuters said:
April, 19 -2014 - Fiat Chrysler (FIA.MI) has reached an agreement to start producing Jeep vehicles in China with partner Guangzhou Automobile Group Co (601238.SS), the companies said on Saturday, as Fiat tries to catch up with competitors in a fast-growing market.

The plan to produce three new Jeep vehicles in China for the domestic market, through the GAC Fiat joint venture, has received the necessary government approvals, the companies said.

Production is expected to begin by late 2015.

GAC Fiat is also considering making a Jeep uniquely designed for China, where the Italian carmaker hopes the successful sport-utility brand can help it make up lost ground behind long-established rivals.

The deal is "the next chapter in the proper utilization and expansion on a global scale of the Jeep brand," Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne said in a statement.

GAC Fiat is establishing a production site in Guangzhou for the Jeep models, the statement said, without giving a cost.

According to an application to China's National Development and Reform Commission, GAC Fiat plans to invest a total 4.7 billion yuan ($755.8 million) in a project in Guangzhou. Funding will come from banks and the company's own equity capital.

The companies did not say which models would be produced there. Marchionne has said the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee would not be produced in China but "anything in between is possible". Likely models include the Cherokee or the smaller Renegade.

FCA's partnership with GAC is its third attempt to gain a foothold in China, after terminating previous partnerships with Nanjing Automobile Group and Chery Automobile Co. ($1 = 6.2190 Chinese Yuan)

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Rosalind Russell)

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New GAC Fiat plant to double production and build Jeeps

Update 2014-06-20
GAC Fiat's second plant broke ground on Wednesday in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. The new plant is set to start producing the latest Jeep global models beginning June 2016.

The Sino-Italian joint venture will invest more than 4.23 billion yuan ($680 million) in the new plant that has an expected annual production capacity of 160,000 units.

GAC Fiat Automobiles General Manager John Burton believes the Guangzhou project will be one of the most advanced plants in the province, and the company will build the plant in accordance to Fiat Chrysler Group's global standards.

"The new plant will make highly competitive products, and all of them will be global vehicles," said Burton.

GAC Group General Manager Zeng Qinghong said the project, with world-leading techniques, technology and facilities, will show that the cooperation between GAC and Fiat Chrysler Group has moved to a higher level.

The new plant will start in 2016 with one shift production, making 45 cars an hour, and then add consecutive shifts at a later point.

GAC Fiat Automobiles was jointly incorporated on March 9, 2010 by GAC Group and Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A.

The Chinese market is now Jeep's second largest market in the world after the US, so the new plant's first priority is to satisfy the Chinese local market.

This year the company sold 26,934 units in the first five months, out of its 28,752 units produced, and was found to be in accordance to GAC Group's monthly report filed with the Hong Kong Exchange.

In 2013, GAC Fiat had a realized revenue of 5.05 billion yuan by Dec 31, 3 billion yuan more than the 1.97 billion yuan revenue in 2012, according to GAC Group's 2013 annual report filed with the Hong Kong Exchange on April 24.

On March 20, 2014, the Board of Directors approved an additional capital contribution of 1.8 billion yuan to GAC Fiat.

Production synergy

"The Chinese market demands cannot be met by the Changsha plant alone. Considering Guangzhou has a strong demand in Jeeps, we established the second plant in Guangzhou," said GAC Fiat's Chairman of the Board Feng Xingya.

"Guangzhou has a very mature parts supply system, which has been serving GAC's joint ventures for years," Feng added.

"GAC will share the existing parts supplies, logistics, research and development with the new plant, and realize the synergy between the Chinese brand and the joint venture brands," said Zeng Qinghong.

The GAC Group established the Guangzhou Automobile Group Component Co (GACC) in 2000, and provides parts directly to Guangzhou Honda, Guangzhou Toyota and other vehicle manufactures.

The new Guangzhou plant is close to the GAC Group's manufacturing bases, so that all local supplies may help reduce costs, according to Wang Qiujing, GAC Fiat's executive deputy general manager.

The joint venture will also bring in the experience of producing and managing from the first plant in Changsha, Hunan province, according to John Burton.

Jeep's localization

GAC-Fiat's two manufacturing bases in Guangdong and Hubei provinces will help double its production volume by 2018 and meet the company's five-year plan, as they will produce both Fiat and Jeep automobiles, said Fiat Chrysler Group's Asia Pacific Senior Vice-president Franco Amadel.

The first two products set to be produced at the new plant will be the newest global models under development on Fiat Chrysler's universal platform.

"After the products flowing from the new world-class manufacturer, we hope to see the Chinese market become the first largest market for Jeep," said Burton.

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Fiat Chrysler deepens China partnership to help Jeep

Automotive News China
November 29, 2014 06:15 CET

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. will establish a joint venture to integrate sales and marketing for the Fiat, Chrysler and Jeep brands in China.

The move is intended to enhance cooperation between the two companies and pave the way for local Jeep production in China, according to GAC.

Currently, Fiat Chrysler has separate sales and marketing operations in China for the Fiat brand and Chrysler-Jeep.

GAC Fiat Automobile Co. builds two Fiat models - the Viaggio compact sedan and the Ottima compact hatchback -- in the central China city of Changsha.

GAC Fiat, 50-50 production joint venture between GAC and Fiat Chrysler, is building a second assembly plant in the south China city of Guangzhou. It's due to start production in 2016.

Three Jeep models, including one specifically developed for China, will be built in the new plant by the end of 2016.

Fiat Chrysler aims to sell 850,000 vehicles annually in China in 2018, up from 130,000 units in 2013, according to Mike Manley, the company's Asia chief.

Manley made the sales projections in May during a presentation of the company's five-year plan at Chrysler Group's headquarters in suburban Detroit.

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Bye bye!!
Stellantis, China's GAC to terminate loss-making joint venture
Jeep says it will "strengthen" the brand by importing products, when it couldn't kindle any interest of customers in its locally produced (and presumably more affordable) items. Production was effectively shut down in February, and Cherokee and Renegade stopped being manufactured last year itself.

P.S. Chapter closes on 38 years of history.

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An historic event indeed.....and a true turning point for JVs in general.
For a look into what challenges a foreign automaker faced when entering the first automotive joint venture in China, see Jim Mann's account, in his book Beijing Jeep , copyright 1989.
Looking back at the track record of GAC, in the duration of its joint ventures, both domestic and foreign, this should not come as a surprise.
Perhaps a big factor in Tavares eyes was when GAC literally kicked them out of Guangzhou, and exiled them to Changsha, up in Hunan. That also couldn't have bode well with Stellantis' expat staff who were used to urban life down in the sunny south.
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