Amid much fanfare, the first Jeep Cherokee rolled off the assembly line of a new joint-venture plant built by Fiat Chrysler NV and its Chinese partner, Guangzhou Automobile Group in Changsha, China.
The ceremony also marks the return of the Jeep brand, which helped ignite a revolution in what was then China’s rudimentary automobile industry back in the 1980s with the founding of Beijing Jeep, the first joint venture between an American company and a Chinese partner.
In 2007, what was Beijing Jeep was absorbed by a new joint venture established by Daimler AG after had sold off the Chrysler Group to a group of investment bankers. Meanwhile, China automotive industry has grown into the largest world with the capacity to build roughly 30 million vehicles annually. (more…)