The revamp will not only increase the American automaker’s product range, but its overseas presence as Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne strives to establish Jeep as a core global brand.
Currently, Jeeps are sold in more than 120 countries this year is expected to be its best to date, topping its previous global sales record of 675,000 units set in 1999. According to the automaker, nearly 33 percent of those sales will come from international markets.
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To help expedite Jeep’s global growth, Marchionne has focused on streamlining production on its models, sharing major underbody components with one or more Fiat group brands. In 2014, Fiat plans on building baby Jeep models alongside Fiat-branded vehicles, investing $1.3 billion in doing so. A pair of smallish crossover vehicles will not only share chassis and powertrain components, but will be exported from Fiat’s Melfi plant to the rest of the world.
There’s plenty in the works for the Jeep brand (as detailed in a previous story) and Chrysler designers and engineers are working on replacements for the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee models for 2016-2017.
With its iconic heritage and tradition, the Jeep brand is looking to evolve in the near future, but Fiat is being cautious to ensure that it lives up to its name.
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[Source: Automotive News]