Fiat Auto wants to build Jeeps in Russia, according to company boss Sergio Marchionne and he being encouraged to so by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
The two men were speaking at the signing of a joint venture deal between Fiat’s Case New Holland and Russia’s Kamaz which would them building agricultural and construction machinery.
Putin told the press that Russia’s failure to build ‘a large number of roads’ meant that SUVs ‘are in very big demand in Russia’.
Fiat Auto controls the Jeep brand through its recently purchased stake in a post-bankruptcy Chrysler.
Industry analysts say that Putin’s public plea to see Jeep production in Russia is part of the country’s bid to see modern Western technology transferred to the country.
Renault has promised to re-equip the ailing Lada brand with new platforms and production lines and Russia also hopes to see technology transfer via Magna’s buy-out of Opel. The Russia state bank Sberbank is substantially bankrolling the Opel deal.