Talks are ongoing between the Fiat-Chrysler alliance and its Russian partner, Sollers, over a plan to build Jeeps in Russia. At the New York Auto Show, Jeep brand CEO Michael Manley told Automotive News that there have been several "detailed conversations" about this topic.
Last February, Fiat S.p.A. jumpstarted plans to expand its existing joint venture with Sollers to produce up to 500,000 vehicles annually in Russia.
Back then, a Sollers executive admitted that the alliance could make 150,000 Jeeps each year, but Chrysler Group had failed to confirm this, deflecting questions on the Russian joint venture to be addressed to Fiat.
At the time, a Fiat spokesman in Turin, Italy, said the company has yet to confirm volumes per model and brand.
This spokesman would only say that the joint venture wanted to build nine models, of which four will be SUVs. Presently, Fiat has no SUVs in its lineup. Sollers builds the Fiat Albea subcompact sedan and the Ducato van.
In addition, the other Fiat models that Sollers sells are not built in Russia and are being imported.
According to sources, this year, the partnership could start assembling the current Patriot, Liberty, Wrangler and Grand Cherokee from completely knocked down kits. However, the goal would be full local assembly.