Chrysler brand will relaunch in China with 300C sedan
BEIJING -- The Chrysler brand will relaunch sales in China, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said on the sidelines of the auto show here on Monday.
The automaker last sold Chrysler-badged cars in the Chinese market in 2009, the same year the U.S. company was rescued from bankruptcy by Fiat.
Marchionne said Chrysler is already making money in China with the Jeep brand and in June the Chrysler brand will be reintroduced, starting with the 300C large sedan
Marchionne also said he wants to strengthen Jeep in China and that requires local production.
He declined to say when and where Jeep models will be built in China. Last year, with sales up 81 percent to more than 22,000 units, China was Jeep's largest export market and its third market overall behind the United States and Canada.
Marchionne added that Alfa Romeo, after its relaunch in North America planned for late 2013, will also launch in China. "Jeep and Alfa are Fiat-Chrysler's two truly global brands," he said.
Fiat unveiled the Viaggio compact sedan at the show on Monday. The car, which is based on the Dodge Dart, will go into production in June in a new plant with Fiat's partner Guangzhou Automobile Group Co.
Fiat's previous joint ventures in China failed but Marchionne said he is confident that the Guangzhou venture will be a success. "We are re-starting from scratch after two jump starts, but now we have the right partner and the right product," he said.
Marchionne is not worried by the current slowdown in the Chinese market. "The growth was too much, too quickly," he said. China's government was right to intervene to slow the pace of growth, said the CEO.
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