Fiat Chrysler to launch Jeep brand, 11 other models in India

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Italian-American auto major Fiat Chrysler plans to launch 12 models in India in the next five years and will start producing models from the Jeep brand in the country by 2015.

The Abarth brand will make its debut in India this year, followed by Jeep brands next year, with nine models to be locally assembled and the remaining three to be imported.

The group's launch plans starts with the compact SUV Fiat Avventura and luxury compact car Abarth 500 this year, Mike Manley, Chief Operating Officer APAC - Head of Jeep brand, said in an investor presentation. It will also refresh the hatchback Grande Punto and medium-sized sedan Linea this year.

In 2015, the group will introduce the much-awaited Wrangler and Grand Cherokee models from the Jeep brand and Abarth Punto. The Grand Cherokee and Abarth Punto will be locally produced, while Wrangler will be imported.

Towards the end of 2016, a fresh Avventura based on a new global small platform will be launched along with a mini-SUV from the Jeep stable, both of which will be locally produced.

In 2017, the group plans to launch new models of the Punto and Grand Sienna from the Fiat portfolio and Wrangler and Grand Cherokee from the Jeep brand. Of these, only the new Wrangler will be imported.

The launches will be followed by a fresh Abarth Punto based on a new global small platform in 2018, which will also be locally assembled.

Outlining India plans, Manley said the group's plant at Ranjangoan in Maharashtra will roll out six models across three platforms by 2018, up from the current three models from a single platform. The facility will produce six types of engines from the current three.

By 2018 the group expects to have a vehicle production capacity of 2,45,000 units annually, compared with 1,35,000 at present.

While the total engine capacity will remain the same at 3,50,000 units, for transmission units, it will go up to 3,30,000 by 2018 from the current level of 3,00,000 units.

The employee count will more than double to 5,000 from 2,250 at present.

Fiat Group Auto Sales India Pvt Ltd will have 220 dealers by 2018, up from 100 in 2013.

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