Fiat S.p.A. will be raising the planned production capacity of its joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Co. to 500,000 vehicles annually by 2015, the China Times reported.
In 2009, Guangzhou Auto and Fiat entered into an agreement to establish a 50-50 joint venture in Changsha, Hunan in China, in order to produce vehicles and engines for the Chinese market.
This joint venture, which is now under construction, is expected to start producing vehicle later this year with an initial capacity of 140,000 vehicles and 220,000 engines annually, with the Fiat C-medium as the first product.
This is significantly higher than Fiat's initial plan of 300,000 vehicles for 2015. The company has decided to increase the capacity of the joint venture in February during a visit by senior Fiat executives to the country, according to the report by the Beijing-based daily newspaper.
Starting in 2012, the joint venture will manufacture and sell the next-generation Dodge Caliber in China as a Fiat, Sergio Marchionne, CEO for Fiat and Chrysler, disclosed in January at the Detroit auto show.
The Caliber version to be sold in China will have a Fiat-designed rear end and front and its interior will receive some modifications, according to Marchionne.
With no assembly plant in China, Fiat currently exports its Linea, Bravo and Grand Punto compact cars to the country. During the first four months of 2011, Fiat only sold 220 units in China, according to J.D. Power.