Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced plans to invest approximately $280 million (Rs 1,768 crore) in its manufacturing joint venture, Fiat India Automobiles with Tata Motors.
The investment in the new plant at Ranjangaon, near Pune, will support the production of an all-new Jeep model. Production is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2017. This model is likely to be an all-new product (codename: CSUV) that will be slotted above the Jeep Renegade (codename: BSUV) and below the Jeep Liberty. The Jeep brand will be launched in India early next year with the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler models that will be sold as CBUs.
“Today marks an important step as we continue to expand the availability of Jeep products around the world,” said Sergio Marchionne, CEO, FCA. “Earlier this year, we indicated that 2015 would be a transformational year in the globalisation of the brand and this announcement reinforces that commitment. We are pleased that this investment will strengthen FCA’s presence in India and are confident in the ability of the joint venture to produce world-class products like those carrying the legendary Jeep nameplate," added Marchionne.
The announcement was made as a delegation, led by Maharashtra’s chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, met with Mike Manley, president and CEO – Jeep Brand, FCA - Global and COO of Asia-Pacific Region, and other company representatives in the FCA North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
“The association of Fiat with Maharashtra is not new and dates back many decades,” said Fadnavis. “We welcome Fiat Chrysler’s decision to invest in the state of Maharashtra and reaffirm the government’s interest in expanding the relationship with Fiat Chrysler by fully supporting this new initiative.”
In 2014, Jeep sales exceeded one million units worldwide, setting a new all-time record for the third consecutive year. Ranjangaon will be the fourth plant outside of the US for volume production of Jeep vehicles. Jeep-branded vehicles are also currently built in Italy and Brazil, and will begin production in China in the fourth quarter of 2015.