Mitt Romney Was Right: Jeeps Will Be Built in China

Industry News / 78 Comments

But not at the expense of shutting down US production.

Towards the very end of the 2012 US presidential election, Republican candidate Mitt Romney made a claim that Chrysler was planning to move Jeep production from Ohio to China. It was complete bullshit. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne even said then it was a load of crap. Consider Romney's statement a last ditch and desperate attempt to shore up a few votes for an election he was about to lose. But now it turns out he was right – at least partially.

The Jeep factory in Toledo, Ohio, has for many months been working like mad to churn out Wranglers and now the new Cherokee in order to meet global demand. China in particular is crazy for Jeeps, and Fiat-Chrysler realized that exporting those vehicles to the Far East isn't the best way to do business. It's an expensive operation. Instead, the automaker has reached an agreement with Chinese automaker Guangzhou Auto to produce three new Jeep models in China. In fact, Jeep was the first major foreign auto company to build Jeeps in China beginning back in 1983. Production there ended in 2006.

Soon a new Chinese Jeep factory will be built to produce 60,000 vehicles per year. And, for the record, Jeep's US operations are stronger than ever and not a single US factory employee is being laid off. In fact, they even hired Joe the Plumber this past February along with many other new employees.

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