Jeep in talks to build some vehicles in China

Jeep President and CEO Mike Manley.
Jeep President and CEO Mike Manley.

DETROIT — The head of Chrysler LLC's Jeep brand says the company is in talks to build some of its vehicles in China for that market.

But it wouldn't mean moving production out of the United States.

Jeep's President and CEO, Mike Manley, told reporters during press previews for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that any production would be “relatively incremental.” Jeep sells several models in China, including the Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, and Compass.

Chrysler is owned by Italian carmaker Fiat SpA. Mr. Manley said today that Jeep has been talking with a Fiat partner in China about production.

Mr. Manley says the Wrangler always will be built in the United States and the brand's home is “always going to be” the United States.

During the 2012 presidential campaign, GOP candidate Mitt Romney came under criticism for an ad saying Chrysler would move Jeep production to China. At the time, Chrysler officials said they would like to build vehicles in China but that no production would be moved from the United States to China.