Fiat and Guangzhou Auto to build Jeeps at JV plant in China

Article by Anita Panait, on August 23, 2013

Fiat Group and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. have reached an agreement to build Jeeps in their joint-venture assembly site in Changsha, China, according to reports from the Chinese media. National Business Daily cited Changsha city government sources as saying that the companies will ink the production plan agreement in the coming months.

Chrysler Group and parent Fiat Group reached a preliminary agreement in January 2013 with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. to produce Jeeps in China. But Fiat and Guangzhou Auto failed to agree on where to build the Jeep vehicles. While Fiat-Chrysler wants the Jeep be built at GAC Fiat Automobile Co., Guangzhou Auto wants to produce them at its own assembly plant in Guangzhou, China.

GAC Fiat is a 50-50 joint venture between Guangzhou Auto and Fiat. The joint venture has an annual output capacity of 140,000 vehicles. Jeep vehicles will share an assembly line with the Fiat Viaggio compact sedan at the GAC Fiat plant, which will improve the site capacity utilization, according to the National Business Daily. GAC Fiat sold only 20,000 Fiat Viaggios in the first seven months of 2013.

The debut of the new premium class Fiat Viaggio is one of the main attractions at the Beijing International Auto Show 2012. The all-new Viaggio symbolizes a journey between China and Italy. In fact, the sedan’s Chinese name – Fei Xiang – emphasizes this message. It also brings to mind the experience of a dream flying towards discovering a new lifestyle that befits the La Vita è Bella brand positioning, which embodies the Italian principle of living life with passion and style and living it to the fullest.

Taking inspiration from Italian design, the new Viaggio combines elements in modern-day fashion with classical notes. The sedan was designed by the Fiat Group Style Center in Turin, Italy, and showcases a timeless, expressive, clean-surfaced exterior design that joins together strong proportions with fluid and curvaceous forms. A contemporary Fiat "face" guarantees unmistakable brand identity. Moreover, rear tail lamps featuring refined light-emitting diode or LED lights lend a sense of superior quality to the car.

The new Fiat Viaggio is designed tastefully inside and out, and as a world compact sedan with perceptible Italian style. In addition, the Viaggio carries a dynamic appeal that is tuned to deliver class-leading ride and handling, thanks to its lower, wider, and longer overall dimensions.

Furthermore, the car sports a sleek silhouette with its extended C-pillar. It also has abundant elegant chrome details that give the Viaggio a very sophisticated look.

Meanwhile, the car’s driver-centric interior design characterizes its on-board experience. This interior design includes a "floating island bezel" that combines the center stack and the cluster and sets the interior apart from the other parts of the car. The dashboard also boasts a clean execution, which means no appliqués, faux woods, films, or imitation metals.

Instead, it has high-quality soft-touch surfacing in its cabin that features tactile grains in warm and elegant dual tone of black and beige. Balanced chrome details, as well as silver-plated elements, contribute brightness and sophistication to the dashboard. As for the top trim levels, an 8.4-inch touchscreen radio navigation unit is one of the top high-tech features unique to the segment.

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