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Chrysler Asia-Pacific: China, India, and more

by David Zatz on

Jeep chief Mike Manley discussed Chrysler’s expansion in the Asia-Pacific region. Fiat currently has 208 dealers in China, 100 in India, and 162 in the rest of the region; Chrysler has 188 in China, none in India, and 208 in the rest of the region.  China is the world’s largest automotive market, and is projected to remain so through 2008, increasing in size. India is expected to surpass Japan as the region’s second largest market in 2018. Sedans remain the dominant body style, particularly compact sedans. However, utilities are growing.

FCA plans to grow from 200,000 sales in 2013 to 335,000 in 2014, based on roughly equal parts Fiat and Jeep growth. Sales in China have been increasing since 2009, thanks largely to new product launches and the addition of new dealerships. Nearly all FCA brands are sold in China; but since imports are heavily taxed, local manufacturing is important for sales. Recent joint ventures will help boost Jeep as a player in the market.

Fiat will also be increasing local production beyond the current Viaggio and Ottimo, adding 500X in 2018 and a midsized sedan in 2016. The company will continue to import Freemont (Dodge Journey) and 500/500C, adding 500X in 2015. The Dodge Journey itself is shown in one chart, but not in others.

The need for local production is shown by one chart, where the Compass is shown with no duties, covering 43% of its segment’s price range, and with import duties, covering 6.5% of the segment by price.  With local production and the launch of Alfa Romeo, FCA plans to go from 235,000 units in 2013 to 850,000 in 2018 — dominated by Jeep, then Fiat.

In India, projected to be the world’s third largest auto market by 2018, hatchbacks are the largest segment, with utilities expected to beat sedan sales in the future. Midsized and larger vehicles are under 10% of the industry. From 2009 to 2013, sales were falling; FCA restructured its distribution network in 2013, resulting in rapid sales growth. The company plans to go from 10,000 sales in 2013 to 25,000 in 2014, and then to ___ in 2018. Much of this growth is to come from Jeep, whichi will be importing the Wrangler and adding locally-built Grand Cherokees and Compass-Patriot replacements. (The chart below seems to have errors.)

At the moment, there is a single joint venture plant in India, capable of building three models on one platform, and one engine plant that can build three engines and one transmission. By 2018, FCA intends to increase capacity from 135,000 vehicles to 245,000; and build six models off three platforms. The powertrain plant is to go up to building six engines and three transmissions, with the same engine production but another 30,000 transmissions.  Overall, sales are to rise from 10,000 in 2013 to 130,000 in 2018, with Jeep — introduced in 2015 — to be responsible for only a fraction of sales.

As for the rest of the market, the ASEAN region —  Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam — is believed to have the strongest growth over the next five years, outside of China and India; Japan, Australia, and South Korea are not believed to be changing much.  FCA is planning growth outside of China and India to mainly be driven by Jeep, with contributions from Dodge, Chrysler, Ram, and Alfa Romeo, as well as rather more substantial contributions by Fiat. Most growth, overall, is expected to come from local production, followed by new models being imported.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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