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Auto blogWed, 21 Aug 2013 14:01:00 EST
Fiat has just finalized a deal originally set up in January between it and China's Guangzhou Automotive Group to bring Jeep production to China. It remains unclear which models will be built, although we're wagering that it'll be the 2014 Cherokee. What we do know, now, is where production will take place.
According to Automotive News, Guangzhou originally wanted production to take place in its home assembly plant in its namesake city. Fiat has battled to send production to a joint venture facility established between Guangzhou and Fiat in the town of Changsha. The joint facility won out, and now the factory, originally built in 2010 with a 140,000-unit capacity, will see Jeeps rolling out of it.
Currently, the GAC-Fiat factory produces the Fiat Viaggio, a jointly developed product that is closely related to America's Dodge Dart. And while it remains unclear as to which model will join the Viaggio on the assembly line, that model is understood to ride on Fiat's Compact platform. The only Jeep to share those underpinnings is the new Cherokee, so there's not much connecting of dots needed to see why this scenario would make sense.
Chrysler is issuing recalls covering roughly 31,700 vehicles worldwide due to two separate problems. In both cases the company believes that most of the affected vehicles are either still on, or in transit to, dealer lots.
One recall covers roughly 10,700 Dodge Durango, Jeep Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SRT models from the 2014 model year built between January 16 and April 17, 2014. The SUVs need a software update for the cruise control. It's possible that when the cruise is on and the driver presses on the throttle, the acceleration could last a second after the pedal is released or two seconds for the SRT. Afterward, they return to the speed originally set by the driver.
Chrysler says it isn't aware of any accidents, injuries or even reported incidents of this happening in the real world. Also, in all cases, if the driver presses on the brake, the cruise shuts off. The automaker believes that there are about 6,100 affected SUVs in the US, 950 in Canada, 425 in Mexico and 3,200 outside of North America. The software upgrade will be ready shortly, the company says.
Jeep is making a big play for the Chinese crossover market at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show. It has a quartet styling concepts for the Renegade, Cherokee and Wrangler that are inspired by Chinese culture at the show.
Among them is the newest member of the Jeep lineup - the Renegade. Its Zi You Xia concept (pictured above) comes from the Mandarin for "rebel," and it's painted in Warm Chocolate Gray with Dark Anodized Bronze trim, including the 20-inch wheels. The roof, grille surround, and mirror caps are done in a complimentary Dark Charcoal color as an accent. The interior is a mix of dark brown leather and Anodized Copper trim. This is one swanky compact crossover.
The Cherokee Sageland and Urbane concepts are meant to show to different sides of Chinese style. With inspiration from the Shangri-La Region, the Sageland has Ivory Pearl tri-coat paint with bronze trim on the outside, and the interior is covered in Gray Nappa leather with red and blue stitching. The Urbane's look comes from the nightlife in the country's cities. The exterior is a color called Maximum Steel with Hyper Black trim. Inside, it combines Piano Black trim with dark red leather seats.