Jeep is the darling of FCA's brands, and as such, FCA is continuing on with its plan to expand Jeep into a global brand. Last year Jeep had its best sales ever. Global sales increased by 39% in 2014 to a record 1,017,019. FCA is looking to continue that momentum.
Jeep's largest factory is the Toledo Assembly Complex. Last year it produced a record 511,466 vehicles, which is quite a feat. Those vehicles were exported to more than 100 markets outside North America. Production will have to grow further to keep up with the expansion of Jeep, but that increased production won't come from Toledo; it will come from new factories in Brazil and China.
Production is planned to increase by 590,000 units over the next 18 months. Part of that increased production will come from a new state-of-the-art plant in Pernambuco, Brazil. That plant will begin producing the Jeep Renegade in the second quarter of 2015.
China, the world's largest auto market, will also be a big part of Jeep's expansion. Local production in China will make Jeep much more competitive as localized production will avoid high tariffs that make vehicles much more expensive if they are produced abroad. Considering that Jeep sales rose 49% in China last year, localizing production should only accelerate that growth.“One of the biggest opportunities for the future growth of Jeep is in Brazil,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO of the Jeep brand with Chrysler Group. “We now have a locally built vehicle that perfectly fits Latin American roads, with the capability and technology features that are unique in this segment. The all-new Jeep Renegade perfectly matches the spirit of adventure and can-do attitude of Brazil and will attract thousands of new customers to our brand.”