Jeep to commence building Cherokee in China by end of 2014

Article by Anita Panait, on April 23, 2013

Jeep is aiming to start building a sports utility vehicle, particularly the Jeep Cherokee, in China by the end of 2014 as part of its bid to become more competitive in the world’s largest vehicle market, Mike Manley, chief executive of the Jeep brand said at the Shanghai auto show. Jeep recently rolled out the Cherokee in the United States and plans to commence selling the SUV in China in the fourth quarter of 2013.

According to Manley, the Cherokee is the best choice to be produced in China since the SUV market in the country is growing rapidly and the SUV is fresh in its life cycle.  Jeep’s CEO remarked that the Cherokee could be easily adapted for production at a new plant in Changsha, China, owned by the joint venture between Fiat SpA, and Chrysler (50%) and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. (50%).

During the Detroit auto show in January 2013, Manley disclosed that Jeep revealed that it would cooperate with GAC to build a Jeep in China for the local market. However, the joint venture must be first expanded to include Jeep -- in addition to Fiat and Chrysler -- as owners of the non-Chinese 50% stake.

John Burton, chief of GAC-Fiat, recently expressed confidence that the Chinese government will approve the expansion of the joint venture to include Jeep.

According to Manley, there are no plans to build a Jeep model exclusively for the China market. Jeep considers China to be its second-largest market, next to the United States. Manley remarked that they would like to localize the Jeep in China for the Chinese market, but that the resulting vehicle would not be just be targeted for China.

The new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is fitted with a new exterior that isn’t only globally appealing but looks forward to the future. This is simply because its designers aimed to create a new vehicle that would carry the brand into the future by having an efficient shape that is still unmistakably Jeep. This is why the capability and efficiency of the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee aren’t just about its looks, but on its actual performance as well as in any terrain and weather conditions.

As designed, the aerodynamic upper body of the new Cherokee is defined by fluid lines while its protective lower body accurately exudes the capability that is typical of any Jeep vehicle. Aside from having a dynamic stance and imposing presence on the road, the new Jeep Cherokee also features an aggressive wheel-to-body proportion. It leads its class in terms of capability partly thanks to the fact that it comes with an aggressive approach and departure angles.

Up front, the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee is marked by a one-piece hood and grille assembly. This waterfall hood is integrated with the legendary peaked, seven-slotted grille with a sharp horizontal snap. However, the hood is designed to be separated from the front fenders.

Flanking the peaked grille of the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee are powerful headlamps that employ LED technology. These headlamps seem to have a slim appearance, thanks to the shape of its daytime running lamps (DRL). In addition, the new 2014 Jeep Cherokee makes use of full LED units for its tail lights, thereby contributing to the already strong yet harmonious appearance on the rear. The SUV’s rear backlight graphic serves as a link between the upper and lower sections of the rear end.

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