Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) said it will invest $250 million to expand its presence in India with the launch of four new sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) under its Jeep brand over the next 2 years. FCA said in a statement that investments will be made locally in the country to build a mid-size three-row SUV, assemble Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee vehicles, and launch a new variant of the Jeep Compass SUV.
FCA currently has less than 1% share in India’s passenger vehicle market. The addition of new vehicles to its portfolio is expected to help automakers increase local sourcing of components, achieve better economy of scale, reduce costs and boost sales. “Our new investment of $250 million will give us increased competitiveness across multiple sectors,” FCA India Managing Director Partha Dutta said in a statement. ,
The investment comes at a time when automakers globally are battling the pandemic, and automakers in India have gone ahead with a slowdown in the domestic market earlier in 2019. Japan’s Honda Motor Company has been forced to close one of its two plants in the country. , and General Motors last month stopped producing cars in India for export after shutting down domestic sales in 2017.
India has seen the entry of new automakers over the years including South Korea’s Kia Motors and China’s SAIC Motor Corp. FCA will produce and assemble the new SUV at its car plant in western India, which is owned by domestic automaker Tata Motors. It is expected to take on the FCA’s three-line SUV, Ford Motor’s Endeavor and Toyota Motor’s Fortuner SUV. The latest round brings FCA’s total investment in India to over $700 million, including $150 million in a new global tech hub.