Chrysler LLC vows not to give up production of Jeep in China



Shanghai. October 18 ( ĘC Chrysler will not give up the local production of Jeep vehicles in China, possibly in partnership with another Chinese automaker, a senior Chrysler official said recently.

"Though Chrysler has paused production of Jeep Grand Cherokee at our Beijing venture, we will continue to produce Jeep in China either with Beijing Auto or a new partner in future, said Simon Elliott, president and CEO of Chrysler Group (China) Sales Ltd.

Earlier reports say that Chrysler may stop production of Grand Cherokee permanently in China due to its high manufacturing cost as well as the new fuel tax to be implemented next year, but Elliott denied the reports.

As to the Jeep brand, Chrysler has already delivered imported Jeep Compass and Jeep Commander to the Chinese market within this year. The automaker also sells imported Chrysler Voyager, PT Cruiser and Chinese made Chrysler 300C in China. Dodge Caliber and Dodge Avenger are also scheduled to be imported.

Simon said, "Chrysler may bring in smaller than 2.0-liter Chrysler models to China in the future, either on CKD units or completed built imported unit".

"One of Chrysler's priorities is to diversify its product lineup in Chinese market. We are always eager to produce vehicles here as long as imported vehicles remain too expensive," he added.

The automaker will also expand its sales network to keep up with the continuous launch of new products. Chrysler Jeep brands will have 116 dealers by the end of this year, and about 150 to 180 Jeep brand dealers will be added by 2009, Simon said.

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