Chrysler Group LLC intends to finish its plans to build Jeep sport-utility vehicles in Russia within the first half of this year, Jeep's brand boss Mike Manley disclosed at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Specifically, he said that they are now finalizing the solution on how to build the Jeep. He also stated that Chrysler is seeking production partnerships in Russia. OAO Sollers, the second largest automaker in Russia, ended its deal with Chrysler's majority owner Fiat SpA last year.
Chrysler is aiming to increase Jeep sales outside North America. In other parts of the world, the brand's deliveries rose 41 percent to around 105,000 units in 2011, spokesperson Todd Goyer for Chrysler revealed.
Manley also disclosed that Jeep may assemble a vehicle in China as early as 2013 or 2014. He added that it will begin producing an SUV at Fiat's Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy, next year. In December, the news service RIA Novosti reported that Fiat may erect a vehicle manufacturing plant in St. Petersburg, Russia, under a pact to be entered in the first quarter. The report cited Alexei Chichkanov, head of the city's investment committee.
Fiat now owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler. It is in the process of constructing its first factory in China in a joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. It will begin selling its first sedan in the country within the second half of the year.