Fiat and Sberbank to enter into partnership to build, sell Jeeps in Russia

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 28, 2012

Fiat and Russia's Sberbank have inked a letter of intent for a joint venture that will manufacture and market Jeep-branded vehicles in the nation, according to a report by Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. Fiat and its U.S. affiliate Chrysler Group are seeking to expand into Russia and other fast-growing emerging markets to counteract the slow growth in the European region. 

In the joint venture, Fiat would have 80% ownership, the Italian paper disclosed without citing sources. On the other hand, Sberbank will finance the project by providing a credit line to the partnership, the paper further reported. In December, a Russian official revealed that Fiat would enter into a deal to manufacture a major new vehicle factory in St Petersburg during the first quarter of this year.

Two people who are familiar with the discussions had named the partner as state lender Sberbank. Fiat made no comment on the matter. Corriere further reported that the joint venture would spend 850 million euros or $1.14 billion in the St. Petersburg facility, which would manufacture 120,000 vehicles annually. It also revealed that a second facility would be opened in Moscow.

The off-road capability displayed by the Jeep Wrangler remains to be unparalleled. This is not only because of the use of the renowned four-wheel drive but is a result of 70 years of 4x4 engineering heritage. Even today, Wrangler remains to have a design that clearly shows body-on-frame with electronic lockers and live axles. Fitted to it is the five-link suspension system on the front end and the rear section.

In addition to making available a new powertrain and new 3.6-liter V6 engine, Jeep Wrangler will now be offering customers two choices for the transmission which is the manual 6-speed unit and the automatic 5-speed gearbox. Engineers of the brand did not forget to utilize the body-on-frame design to ensure that the ride and sound quality is optimized.

Because of the new engine and transmissions plus the improved calibrations of the suspension, the effects of the various changes are obvious whether the Jeep Wrangler is off-road or on the highway. Helping ensure that perfect balance when it comes to tough off-road capability and superior on-road handling, the shock absorbers have been retuned and designed specifically for that purpose.

Noise level is indeed optimized as even when the vehicle is idle, one can barely hear anything. This is because when the accessories were mounted to the engine, the brand did not use any accessory brackets. As a result, all of the accessories, like the compressor for the air conditioning, alternator, and power steering pump, are not only held in place but they’ve become less vulnerable to noise and vibration.

This refinement in the mounting system of the powertrain also results in the sound quality of the interior being enhanced. Additionally, noise damping material was placed in the vehicle’s firewall. A first for the Jeep Wrangler is the engine cover which allows for the cabin to be isolated from the noises coming from the engine and the road surfaces.

Topics: fiat, jeep, russia, production

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