October 19, 2015 , Changsha, China – Jeep® Cherokee, the first locally produced sport-utility vehicle (SUV) of GAC Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (GAC FCA), officially rolled off the assembly line today at the company’s Changsha plant. The newly established GAC FCA Automobiles Sales Co., Ltd. will be responsible for sales of the new product.
Senior government officials and company leaders attended today’s roll-off ceremony, including Xu Shousheng (Secretary of CPC Hunan Provincial Committee and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Provincial People’s Congress), Du Jiahao (Deputy Secretary of CPC Hunan Provincial Committee and Governor of Hunan Province), Zhang Fangyou (Chairman of the GAC Group), Zeng Qinghong (General Manager of the GAC Group), Mike Manley (Head of Jeep Brand and Ram Brand, FCA – Global and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the APAC region); and Feng Xingya (Executive Deputy General Manager of the GAC Group and Chairman of GAC FCA).
The General Manager of the GAC Group Mr. Zeng Qinghong said, “The roll out of the Chinese-produced Jeep Cherokee is a major step in the deepened cooperation between the GAC Group and the FCA Group. Along with the localization of the Jeep brand and the introduction of Chrysler models in the future, our brand combination and product portfolio will further raise our business, and lead to a balanced and diversified development with Western partners of the GAC Group to expand our industrial distribution, deepening the implementation of our “3+e” strategy. For GAC FCA, Jeep has achieved a rapid market share increase, meaning that the localization of Jeep Cherokee has shifted GAC FAC’s simple trade model toward production, manufacturing, sales and after-sales on the entire value chain, and will ultimately move the formation of research and development, manufacturing and sales to a complete and comprehensive automobile supply chain model. Following the SOP of Jeep Cherokee, GAC FCA will form an automobile industrial chain integrating R&D, manufacturing and sales. GAC FCA will step forward toward a new horizon.”
“Today marks a milestone in the history of our brand,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand and Ram Brand, FCA – Global and COO of the APAC region. “The Jeep brand was the first western automaker to produce vehicles in China more than 30 years ago. Today, with the support of our GAC partners, our brand is back to its rightful place in this market. The Jeep Cherokee is our best-selling vehicle worldwide and now is being produced in China for China, to the world quality standards that Chinese consumers demand. Local production allows us to be closer to our customers and to improve our competitive position in the market place. We thank GAC for their true partnership, as we look forward to starting production of other Jeep models here in China.”
The locally produced Jeep Cherokee is expected to be in full production in November and expects to begin deliveries before the end of the year. The Jeep Cherokee 2.4L version will be made available first, followed by the 2.0L, offering customers more choices and a better value.
Positioned as the authentic SUV for city life, the Jeep Cherokee has a price range of RMB 200,000 to RMB 300,000. The Changsha-produced Jeep Cherokee not only retains the features and advantages of today’s import models, but delivers the on-road driving dynamics, features, fuel economy and 4×4 capability that mid-size SUV customers desire.
With the first locally produced Jeep Cherokee, GAC FCA has officially introduced the Jeep brand to the rapidly expanding Chinese market, marking its historic return to the mainstream SUV segment. By the end of 2016, the Jeep brand’s portfolio in China will consist of three new models, including the locally produced Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Renegade, offering consumers the most comprehensive SUV lineup.
Today, the company also began accepting orders from dealers. As an added convenience for consumers, GAC FCA launched a pre-sale program called “Jump Start,” through which consumers can place an order online. For more information about how to place an order through this system, as well as many more offers, please visit http://www.jeep.com.cn.
The GAC FCA Changsha plant, the birthplace of the locally produced Jeep Cherokee, is the first in China to adopt the exacting World Class Manufacturing (WCM) standards. WCM is a methodology that focuses on reducing waste, increasing productivity and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. WCM engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants, promoting a sense of ownership. The GAC FCA Changsha facility is one of the most technologically advanced manufacturing plants for FCA globally. Total investment for the 750,000-square-meter facility is approximately RMB 5 billion.
About Jeep Brand
Built on more than 70 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.
The Jeep vehicle lineup consists of the Cherokee, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. To meet consumer demand around the world, all Jeep models sold outside North America are available in both left and right-hand drive configurations and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options.
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