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by Tim Beissmann

Jeep aims to double its global sales within the next four years on the back of anticipated strong growth in China and South America.

Automotive News cites Fiat Chrysler sources in Italy who said the car maker wants to sell more than 1.5 million Jeeps by 2018. Jeep sold 731,565 SUVs around the world last year – 36 per cent up on 2012.

Fiat Chrysler will begin production of the sub-compact Renegade in Melfi, Italy, in June at an initial rate of 150,000 per year.

Production of the Renegade for South America will begin in Pernambuco, Brazil, before the end of the year, while Fiat Chrysler is also set to start building Jeeps in China from late 2015 with partner Guangzhou Automobile Group. The Renegade could become the first Chinese-made Jeep, though may follow the Cherokee, which is also destined for the Changsha production line.

Jeep sold almost 60,000 vehicles in China last year, placing it ahead of Canada (44,700) but a long way short of the US, which made up more than two-thirds of sales last year at 490,500.

Fiat Chrysler sold 22,170 Jeeps in Australia last year – up 23.1 per cent on the previous year – giving it a 2.0 per cent share of the market.

After four months of 2014 it has already notched up 8758 sales (up 31.1 per cent) and has lifted its share of the market to 2.5 per cent.

The brand will get a further boost next month when it launches the all-new Cherokee, but will have to wait until late 2015 to add the Renegade to the local line-up.




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