GAC Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Co (GFC), the joint venture of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Co, yesterday launched a sales company in Shanghai.
The new joint venture, GAC Fiat Chrysler Automobile Sales Co, will be responsible for all product planning, marketing, sales and after-sales of Jeep, Fiat and Chrysler brands, GFC said.
“We will accelerate the pace of product planning and manufacturing, and introduce 10 new models to the Chinese market in the next five years,” Zheng Jie, CEO of the new venture, said in Shanghai yesterday.
Jeep will be the flagship brand for GFC, and its domestically made sport-utility vehicles will start production in the first half of next year at GFC’s Guangzhou factory.
As growth in passenger vehicle sales is set to slow to single digit this year from last year’s 12.6 percent amid an economic downturn, SUV models are seen as the key for automakers to attract customers in the world’s largest vehicle market.
Sales of SUVs hit 1.29 million in the first quarter of 2015, up 48.8 percent year on year to be the fastest growing category in the market, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
“By 2020, Jeep vehicles will cover all SUV categories from small to luxury models,” said Ye Wuping, director of product marketing department of the new company.