Fiat recently established a joint venture in Russia, but thanks to the Italian automaker’s marriage to Chrysler, the facility could manufacture Jeep vehicles for the Russian market.
Fiat reached an agreement the Sollers firm to expand its joint venture in Russia, where the pair already build a number of Fiat passenger vehicles for the Russian market. Sollers says the move was to allow the factory to build as many as 150,000 Jeeps annually. Chrysler won’t comment on the subject, but a Fiat spokesperson told Automotive News that the plant will build nine different models — four of them SUVs.
Although the Jeep line isn’t currently sold in Russia, it’s one of the few Chrysler brands that would make the most sense for the Russian market. It’s quite possible that the new 2011 Grand Cherokee could be assembled in this plant, stealing a task normally assigned to Magna Steyr in Austria. Automotive News also reports that the successors to the Patriot and Liberty will also be fully assembled in the plant. Both will use a new compact platform jointly developed by Fiat and Chrysler.
Details surrounding the joint venture are still being ironed out, but the facility — based nearly 600 miles east of Moscow — will have the ability to produce up to 500,000 vehicles annually by 2016.
Source: Automotive News