FCA integrates production, sales at GAC venture

Automotive News China

Automotive News | 2019-5-7

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, seeking to improve operating efficiency and revive flagging local sales, is combining the production and sales units at its joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. 

Production and sales units started operating as one company on May 1, GAC FCA -- a 50-50 partnership between GAC and FCA -- said Monday. 

As part of the integration, the joint venture made several personnel changes. 

Massimiliano Trantini became GAC FCA¡¯s president. Trantini was appointed head of GAC FCA¡¯s sales unit last month. Before that, he was FCA¡¯s director of China business.

Zhang Zongsheng, former executive vice president of the production unit, was made executive vice president of GAC FCA. Zhang is also a member of GAC¡¯s executive committee. 

And Patrick Dougherty from FCA and Guo Baixun from GAC have each been appointed vice president of GAC FCA in charge of sales. 

GAC FCA, established in 2010 in the central China city of Changsha, has plants in Changsha and the south China city of Guangzhou. The two factories combined can build up to 328,000 vehicles a year. 

But China sales at the joint venture dropped 39 percent to 125,181 in 2018. In the first quarter, deliveries plunged 41 percent to 21,706. 

Fiat Chrysler¡¯s business in Asia lost money for the fourth consecutive quarter as vehicle shipments fell 30 percent in China. The changes at the joint venture are designed to help the company ¡°more rapidly respond¡± to shifts in the local market. Jeep sales have been a disappointment in China, which is experiencing its first sales slowdown in almost three decades.

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