Fiat Chrysler to invest $ 250 million in Indian unit
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) said on Tuesday that it would invest $ 250 million over the next two years to expand its presence in India with four new sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) under its JEEP brand.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said in a statement that a mid-size SUV will be manufactured locally to assemble Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee vehicles in the country and launch a new version of its Jeep Compass SUV.
Currently Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has less than 1% of India’s passenger vehicle market. Adding new vehicles to its portfolio is expected to help the automaker increase local sourcing of components, achieve better economies of scale, reduce costs and increase sales. Partha Dutta, managing director of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles India said in the statement, “Our new investment of $ 250 million will give us a competitive edge in many areas.”
The investment comes at a time when automobile manufacturers globally have been hit by the epidemic, and vehicle manufacturers in India are slowing the domestic market further in 2019. Japan’s Honda Motor Company has been forced to close one of its two plants in the country, and General Motors stopped production of cars for export in India after closing domestic sales in 2017 last month . India has also seen the entry of new automakers over the years, including Kia Motors of South Korea and SAIC Motor Corp of China. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will produce and combine the new SUV at its car plant in Western India, jointly with domestic automaker Tata Motors.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ three-row SUV is expected to compete with Ford Motor’s Endeavor and Toyota Motor’s Fortuner SUV. The latest round saw FCA’s total investment in India exceed $ 700 million, including $ 150 million in a new global technology hub.