Fiat Chrysler will invest $280 million to begin Jeep production in India through an expanded joint venture with Tata Motors, the carmaker said on Wednesday.
Assembly of a first Jeep model will begin in the second quarter of 2017 at Fiat's plant in the western state of Maharashtra, Fiat Chrysler said in a statement. Fiat and Tata already produce cars together at the factory.
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Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne is pursuing ambitious sales growth goals for Jeep and other group brands under a turnaround plan outlined last year.
Jeep sales topped 1 million vehicles for the first time in 2014, and Fiat Chrysler is now preparing to add Chinese production later this year to the brand's existing assembly lines in Italy and Brazil as well as in the United States.
The Indian investment is an "important step as we continue to expand the availability of Jeep products around the world", Marchionne said in the company statement.
(Reporting by Laurence Frost and Louise Heavens)