FCA to invest $280M in India joint venture

Michael Martinez
The Detroit News

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV on Wednesday said it will invest $280 million at a manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon, India, to support production of a new Jeep vehicle. The automaker’s investment is with its manufacturing joint venture, Fiat India Automobiles Private Limited, with Tata Motors Limited.

“Today marks an important step as we continue to expand the availability of Jeep products around the world,” Sergio Marchionne, FCA’s CEO said in a statement. “Earlier this year, we indicated that 2015 would be a transformational year in the globalization of the brand and this announcement reinforces that commitment. Establishing Jeep production in India will give us the opportunity to offer even more people the chance to experience the freedom and adventure that can come from behind the wheel of a Jeep vehicle.”

Jeep’s U.S. sales increased 28 percent in June as the Wrangler, Cherokee and Patriot each posted their best June sales ever.

Last year, Jeep sales exceeded 1 million units across the globe, setting a new all-time record for the third consecutive year.

The Ranjangaon facility will be the fourth plant outside of the U.S. for volume production of Jeep vehicles, FCA said. They are also built in Italy and Brazil, and will begin production in China in the fourth quarter of 2015.

FCA plans to produce 1.9 million Jeeps by 2018 at 10 plants in six countries: the U.S., Italy, China, Brazil, India and one other yet-to-be-announced country. Two years ago, only 798,000 rolled out of four plants in the United States.

A delegation from India, including the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, on Tuesday met with Mike Manley, president and CEO of Jeep, in Auburn Hills.

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