At a time when some US automobile firms are either folding or curtailing their operations in India, Italian-American auto major Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has decided to expand its product line-up in the country. The company on Tuesday announced an investment of $250 million towards production of four new Jeep SUVs. This would be in addition to the $450 million the company has already invested in its Indian operations in the last five years. The all-new local vehicle line-up includes the 2021 made-in-India Jeep Compass, a locally produced and global-first three-row Jeep SUV, as well as the iconic Jeep Wrangler and the next-generation Grand Cherokee flagship, which will both be locally assembled in FCA’s joint venture manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon. The four new products will be on Indian roads by the end of 2022, FCA said in a statement.
The 2021 Jeep Compass is set to be unveiled in India on January 7 and production has already commenced. The luxury seven-seat mid-size Jeep, code-named H6, will be launched in 2022. Commenting on the new investment plan, FCA India MD Partha Datta said, “Our new investment of $250 million will give us a competitive edge in multiple segments with our new Jeep SUVs rolling out of Ranjangaon. This investment is in addition to $450 million we have already committed to our Indian operations over the past five years. We are delighted to announce our exciting new products, coupled with our continued commitment to India in Jeep brand’s 80th anniversary year.”
Fiat Chrysler had recently announced investing $150 million to set up a global digital centre in Hyderabad. The company also expanded its engineering operations recently and said it will be creating at least 1,000 new jobs by the end of 2021. In 2015, FCA invested in the local development and production of the Jeep Compass in Ranjangaon. In addition, FCA has upgraded powertrains to meet BS-VI regulations and invested in transmission and drive-line development for product configurations offered in India.
“We are determined to increase locally-made components in our vehicles which are produced in our joint venture manufacturing facility. Our plans in India are aimed at increasing the value proposition for customers through our products and services, working hard on customer satisfaction and unlocking business opportunities for our business partners,” Datta said.
The Jeep brand made its debut in India in 2016, followed by the launch of Jeep Compass in 2017. FCA is engaged in industrial activities in the automotive sector through companies located in 40 countries and has commercial relationships with customers in approximately 150 countries. It manufactures vehicles under the Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Ram, SRT brands as well as luxury cars under the Maserati brands.
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