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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Jeep Wants To Take Control Of Its China Joint Venture


After announcing that one of its plants with joint-venture partner GAC will close, Stellantis is keen to roll out a new strategy for Jeep in China. The first move, according to a report, is to take control of the brand.

Bloomberg (via Automotive News) reports that Stellantis (formerly known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group) is in “advanced discussions” with state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group (aka GAC) on raising its stake in the 50-50 venture overseeing its Jeep operations in China.

The change could take effect as early as next year, when Chinese rules on JVs are set to be loosened, said the report. After that, Jeep is keen to promote its Jeep brand in the world’s biggest car market.

Stellantis is trying to align its production in China. Aside from centralizing Jeep production in Changsha and closing their plant in Guangdong, they are also planning to integrate import operations into the joint-venture.

The venture with GAC produces the Jeep Cherokee, Renegade, Compass, and Grand Commander (top photo). Deliveries of locally made models plunged 45 percent to 44,026 units in 2020. The GAC Jeep joint-venture is also where local Jeep distributor, Auto Nation Group sources the Renegade, Compass, and the upcoming Grand Commander.

As part of the Fiat Chrysler-PSA merger, Stellantis also inherited a venture in China with the Dongfeng Motor Group that makes Peugeot and Citroen models. Dongfeng sold some of its stake in Stellantis last week as part of an agreement with PSA reached in December 2019.

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