End of Jeeps in China: Stellantis confirms a total fiasco in Asia
It’s over, Jeeps will no longer be produced in China. Jeep in the former Middle Kingdom, it was however a long story. The American brand was one of the three automotive pioneers there, with Volkswagen in Shanghai and Peugeot in Canton. The Jeep Cherokee were manufactured in Beijing in 1985. It was at the time AMC, the American group owning Jeep, which had negotiated this agreement, under the leadership of Renault. Because the French firm was then the owner… of AMC which it sold in 1987 to Chrysler. This Cherokee, designed by a partly French team with chief engineer François Castaing, was even called Beijing Jeep and had a certain success, since it replaced de facto the old 4×4 of the Chinese army BJ 212, copied from a soviet off-road antediluvian! But alas, relations were always stormy between Americans and Chinese within the Beijing Jeep Corporation (BJC).
New start in 2010 with a new joint venture between GAC this time and Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA). The assembly of a new Cherokee began in 2015. But, once again, the rag is burning. Stellantis wanted to take the majority stake in the joint venture – 75% instead of the current 50%. GAC visibly dragged its feet. And, in the face of its reluctance, Stellantis announces this Monday, July 18 “to start discussions to end the joint venture” which produced, in addition to the Cherokee, the compact SUV Compass and the very large Grand Commander. Jeep models will now be imported. But, without local manufacturing, sales will be trickle-down. Stellantis recalls on Monday that the joint venture “has been loss-making in recent years”. The Franco-Italian-American group “will recognize an impairment charge of approximately 297 million euros in its results for the first half of 2022”.
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