Towards the end of the previous decade, we remember several Chinese automakers making their way to the Detroit Auto Shows vowing to begin selling cars in the United States. Unless we missed something, that never happened.
At this year’s event, the only carmaker from China is the GAC Group (Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd), which brought along three vehicles, including the Trumpchi sedan that’s loosely based on the Alfa Romeo 166, the Trumpchi GS5 SUV and the electric-powered E-jet concept saloon you see in the live shots from Detroit.
In addition to displaying its cars to the American public, GAC also announced a new agreement with the Fiat-Chrysler Group to expand their cooperation on passenger car manufacturing and sales in China.
According to the new framework agreement, GAC and the Fiat and Chrysler Group will expand their operations in the coming years to build more Fiat and soon after, Jeep products locally, exclusively for the Chinese market.
“Following the successful launch of the first product of our JV, the Fiat Viaggio launched last September, this agreement is another milestone of our partnership with Fiat and Chrysler Group,” said Zeng Qinghong, General Manager of GAC Group.
Jeep CEO, Mike Manley, commented: “The expansion of the agreement with our GAC partners will allow us to unleash the potential of both our Fiat and Chrysler Group brands in China.”
The GAC Group, which is the 6th largest automaker in China, currently manufactures the Fiat Viaggio (based on the Dodge Dart) and distributes imported Fiat models, including the 500, Freemont and Bravo for the local market. It also has a joint venture with Honda.