The New New Chrysler to make Jeep Compass in China

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2009 Jeep Compass

Shanghai, August 20 ( China's Guangzhou Auto, now a Chinese partner of Fiat Group, has signed a deal with the Italian automaker's newly acquired Chrysler Group to jointly produce Jeep-brand SUVs in central Chinese city of Changsha, Time Weekly reported today.

The Jeep is Chrysler's renowned SUV brand. The Jeep Compass will be the first model to be made in the Changsha plant of the new Guangzhou-Fiat joint venture. The venture will start building the plant later this year and may start production and sale of Fiat and Chrysler vehicles by the second half of 2011.

Chrysler dropped out of Daimler AG's Chinese venture with Beijing Auto in late 2008, ending its nearly two decades of partnership with the Chinese automaker. Earlier this year, Fiat Group acquired the troubled U.S. auto giant Chrysler and meanwhile signed a JV deal with China's Guangzhou Auto, bringing the two automakers together.

Since Chrysler withdrew from Beijing Benz-Daimler Chrysler (BBDC) last year, the Chrysler production line in Beijing (for Chrysler 300C and Sebring models) has been revamped and will be used for producing Mercedes-Benz C-Class and all-new E-Class sedans as well as Beijing Auto's own brand "Beijing" sedans.

Chrysler has the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands. The Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Caliber, Dodge Avenger, Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot and others have been well received in global markets. The three brands merged their sales network in China in mid-2008.

In recent years, Chrysler has imported many Jeep models to China, such as the Grand Cherokee, Compass and Commander, Wrangler Sahara and Rubicon.

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