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Marchionne Says Jeep Can Hit 1 Million Sales in 2014

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/19/2014 Edward A. Sanchez

Jeep has been on a roll over the past two years, and the brand has seen especially significant growth outside of the U.S. But even with the momentum the brand has, it may be challenging to meet the sales goal verbally targeted by Chrysler/ Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. At the Detroit Auto Show, Marchionne said he believed Jeep could sell one million vehicles worldwide in 2014. The brand set an all-time sales record of 731,565 units in 2013.

The key enabler for the higher sales goal is the introduction of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, filling the hole left with the departure of the Liberty mid-sized SUV. In its first few months of sales, the Cherokee is selling strongly so far, but in order to reach Marchionne's 2014 sales goal, the Cherokee will have to maintain and grow its five-figure sales pace.

Marchionne Says Jeep Can Hit 1 Million Sales in 2014 2014 Jeep Cherokee© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Jeep Cherokee

Also expected to contribute to the brand's fortunes toward the end of the year, the so-far unnamed subcompact Italian-built Jeep model will go on-sale in Europe and the U.S., with other markets to follow. Logistical bottlenecks at the Jefferson North plant in Detroit that builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee have been reportedly been resolved, that should enable greater output and export capability.

Another unknown variable, and unlikely to come in time to contribute to 2014 sales, is the Chinese government's final approval of plans to build the Jeep Cherokee in Guangzhou, in southern China.

Source: Reuters

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