Jeep Returning to China With the Cherokee
Jeep was a staple in China for almost 20 years. Beginning in 1983, the SUV became a favorite of the market, but production ended midway through the 2000s. Luckily, the brand will be making it’s long awaited return to the country, and they’re keeping it off with one of the company’s most popular models: the Cherokee.
While you can find this Jeep for sale in Colorado Springs, it hadn’t been as easy in China. Read more about the company’s return below.
China’s first Jeep Cherokee was produced in Japan on Monday, writes Michael Wayland of the Detroit News. Senior government officials joined both executives from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and executives from Guangzhou Automobile Group at the company’s Changsha plant, where the Cherokee will be made for the Chinese market.
“Today marks a milestone in the history of our brand,” said Mike Manley, head of Jeep and chief operating officer of the Asia-Pacific region.
The GAC Fiat Chrysler Automobiles joint venture, as Wayland describes it, is expected to go into full production by November, with deliveries starting soon after. With the Cherokee joining the Jeep Renegade in China, Jeep is well on their way to fulfilling their expansion plan. The company’s hope was to have produced 1.9 million Jeeps by 2018. The vehicles would be made at ten different plants in six different countries: the United States, China (the second biggest market outside of the US), Italy, Brazil, Italy, and a “yet-to-be-announced country.” This would be a step up from their production in2013, when Jeep produced 798,000 in only four United States plants.
As Wayland writes, the global growth of the company is the “centerpiece of an ambitious five-year plan of Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.” Besides increasing Jeep’s production, Marchionne also wants to increase global sales to seven million dollars by 2018, which would be a 60-percent increase over 2013 sales. The CEO reiterated this sentiment at the 2015 Detroit auto show in January, and it seems like the company has truly made strides in making that declaration a reality.
The GAC FCA Changsha plant, the “birthplace” of the Jeep Cherokee in China, is the first such plant in the country to adopt the region’s “exacting World Class Manufacturing (WCM) standards.” These standards include the reducing waste, increasing productivity and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way.”
Considering how popular, innovative and dependable the Cherokee is, we’d reckon that Jeep will now be in China to stay. Meanwhile, you can appreciate the brand right now! Head down to Faricy and check out their selection of Jeeps.