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FCA Targets Growth in Brazil

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is expanding production capacity in Brazil and plans to launch 25 new, freshened or specialty models in the country through 2024.
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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is expanding production capacity in Brazil and plans to launch 25 new, freshened or specialty models in the country through 2024.

To support the effort, FCA is increasing its investment plans in Latin America to $3.9 billion through 2024. The carmaker previously had committed to spend 14 billion reals ($3.5 billion) in the region by 2023.

The rollout will include 15 Fiat-badged vehicles as part of a plan to jumpstart the brand’s efforts in Brazil, FCA CEO Mike Manley tells reporters. Ten other launches will be split between the carmaker’s Jeep and Ram brands.

Fiat’s market share in Brazil has slipped from nearly 25% in 2008 to less than 14% last year. As a result, Fiat has fallen from first in the market to third—behind leader General Motors (18%) and Volkswagen (15%), notes Bloomberg News.

Jeep has grown from virtually nothing to capture nearly 5% of Brazil’s market through the first four months of 2019. The brand has capitalized on Brazil’s growing demand for SUV/crossover vehicles, similar to that in other global markets.

Part of FCA’s investment will be used to boost capacity at Jeep’s plant in Pernambuco by 40% to 350,000 units per year. The facility, which was opened in 2015, produces the Compass and Renegade small crossover models.

FCA also is planning to construct a new powertrain plant in Brazil. No timeframe was given for the facility, which Manley says will produce unspecified fuel-efficient turbocharged engines.

The carmaker’s 43-year-old Betim facility currently builds eight Fiat models and has capacity to make 800,000 vehicles per year. Two new crossovers and another unspecified model will be added next year. The Betim complex, which is located in central Brazil, also can produce 1.1 million engines and transmissions.

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