Brand targets 1.5 million units with strong growth in South America, China

Jeep wants to double global sales by '18

Brand targets 1.5 million units with strong growth in South America, China

The Jeep Renegade, an entry-level vehicle based on a Fiat platform, begins production in June.
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TURIN, Italy -- Jeep will double global sales by 2018 with strong growth in South America and China under Fiat Chrysler's five-year product and business plan, sources here said.

On Tuesday, May 6, CEO Sergio Marchionne and his executive team will reveal the company's plan in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The company wants to boost Jeep's global sales to more than 1.5 million by 2018, the sources said. Last year, the brand's sales worldwide grew by 36 percent to 731,565 units.

Fiat Chrysler plans to start production in June of the Renegade, an entry-level Jeep based on a Fiat platform, in Melfi, Italy. Melfi, which has capacity to produce 150,000 Renegades a year, initially will supply the smallest Jeep worldwide.

Late this year, Fiat Chrysler will begin pilot production of the Renegade for South America at a new plant in Pernambuco, Brazil.

Fiat Chrysler plans to begin making Jeeps in China by late 2015 after reaching an agreement with local partner Guangzhou Automobile Group.

According to sources in Italy, the Renegade will be the first Jeep built in Guangzhou. But the Cherokee could be first if negotiations in China bear fruit.

"Cherokee is the obvious choice to localize in Changsha," Jeep brand head Mike Manley told Automotive News Europe in an interview at the Geneva auto show in March. He wants to get government approval to start Cherokee production by the end of 2014.

In 2016, Guangzhou will add production for China of another Jeep model, the replacement for the Compass and Patriot, sources said.

Last year, Jeep sold nearly 60,000 vehicles in China, ahead of Canada's 44,700 units but well behind 490,500 U.S. sales, company data show.

Jennifer Clark and Bloomberg contributed to this report.

You can reach Luca Ciferri at lciferri@crain.com.


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