Jeep continues to struggle in China with the Stellantis unit’s manufacturing operations grinding to a near halt in recent months amid a new wave of the coronavirus that has disrupted output at auto parts makers and light-vehicle manufacturers across the country.
The American brand only sold two China-built vehicles in the past three months: one in March and one in May. It didn’t sell any new vehicles in April, according to a tally released this week by GAC Motor Co., a joint venture partner of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Jeep’s cumulative deliveries in China through May this year nosedived 83 percent to just 1,861, GAC Motor data show.
In 2021, sales at GAC-FCA, which assembles four Jeep models – the Grand Commander, Renegade, Compass and Cherokee -- fell to 20,123, well below a recent peak of 202,700 in 2017 amid intensifying competition in the Chinese market.
To cut snowballing losses, GAC-FCA announced the closure of an assembly plant in the south China city of Guangzhou in September 2021, while retaining a factory in the central China city of Changsha, which can produce up to 164,000 vehicles and 488,000 engines a year.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in March Jeep would “refocus” on its “highly profitable” import business in China, without divulging details on how to implement the plan.
According to Jeep's China website, it sells three imported models: the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee SUVs, and the Gladiator pickup truck.
Jeep didn’t reveal sales of imported vehicles in China.
The China Automobile Dealers Association releases sales of China’s top 10 imports brands, but Jeep does not make the list.
Sales of imported vehicles by the ten brands during the period range from 56,606 vehicles to 3,247 vehicles, according to the CADA.