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America's Jeep Returns to India with $280 Million Investment

America's Jeep Returns to India with $280 Million Investment

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that it will invest approximately $280 million in its manufacturing joint venture, Fiat India Automobiles, with Tata Motors. The manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon, located around 31 miles (50 km) from Pune in the western state of Maharashtra, will support the production of a new Jeep vehicle. Production is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2017.

FCA Plant
FCA Plant

The announcement was made as a delegation, led by the State of Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, met with Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand, FCA Global and other company representatives in the North American headquarters of Fiat in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is pursuing ambitious sales targets for Jeep and other group brands under a turnaround plan outlined last year says Europe Auto News. By 2018, the car maker aims almost to double the 1 million Jeep sales recorded in 2014. The Indian investment is an “important step as we continue to expand the availability of Jeep products around the world”, Marchionne said in a company statement. “We are pleased that this investment will strengthen FCA presence in India and are confident in the ability of the joint venture to produce world class products like those carrying the legendary Jeep nameplate,” he added.

Jeep’s expansion plan relies heavily on India, set to become the world’s third-largest auto market behind China and the United States by 2020, according to forecaster IHS Automotive.

Autocar India says setting up a plant is likely to get easier for Fiat as the Maharashtra government recently announced that it was working towards reducing the number of approvals required for setting up an auto manufacturing plant or any other industrial unit in the state to 25 from the current requirement of 76.

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