Jeep meets goal of 1 million in 2014 sales, led by U.S.

Tue Jan 6, 2015 2:11pm EST
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By Bernie Woodall

DETROIT (Reuters) - Jeep, the SUV brand that is key to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' (FCAU.N: Quote) (FCHA.MI: Quote) global expansion plans, narrowly met its goal of selling one million vehicles in 2014, the Jeep brand chief said on Tuesday.

Jeep's worldwide sales were 1,017,019 last year, up 39 percent from 2013 and a record for the brand.

Sales rose 41 percent in Jeep's biggest market, the United States, to 692,348.

Mike Manley, chief executive of the Jeep brand, in a phone interview with Reuters did not venture a specific sales forecast for 2015 sales. He said, Jeep plans to "continue the growth."

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA, said last May that global production of Jeep will rise to 1.9 million vehicles by 2018. Of that, one million is to be produced in North America, 500,000 in Asia, 200,000 in South America and 200,000 in Europe.

Marchionne and Manley made selling one million Jeep vehicles in 2014 a stretch target last January.

Manley said 2015 Jeep sales will helped by the start of production of the Cherokee in China in the third quarter of the year and in Brazil in the second quarter.

Jeep sales in China, the world's biggest automobile market, rose 49 percent in 2014 from a relatively low base, to 88,000. Manley said 132,000 Jeeps were sold in Asia.   Continued...

The front grill of a 2014 Chrysler Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk is seen on display outside Chrysler World Headquarters during the FCA Investors Day in Auburn Hills, Michigan May 6, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook