Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep brand has enjoyed plenty of success in China – a country that has experienced a sharp increase in the number of cars on public roads over the last 10-15 years. Much like in North America, Jeep’s popularity in China has inspired many to adopt the Jeep way of life by starting Jeep clubs, modifying their vehicles and going off-roading.
A recent SEMA report delved into the growing Jeep trend in China. The association spoke to Qian Guohui, a Chinese resident who bought a Compass in 2010 before upgrading to the more heavy duty Wrangler JK so he could go off-roading. In Guohui words, he’s a true “devoted Jeep fan.”
Guohi has upgraded his Wrangler with brighter Quadratech IPF off-road headlights, an ARB rear bumper and Cooper 285 off-road tires. According to Guohi, Chinese Jeep owners are into modifying their vehicles in the same way that American Jeep buyers are, with American brand aftermarket parts appealing to them particularly.
According to SEMA data, the Wrangler is one of the most frequently customized vehicles in China. There are Wrangler owners clubs, one of which Guohui belongs to, and almost every Wrangler owner is looking to customize or upgrade their vehicle in some way. FCA sells both the two-door Wrangler and four-door Wrangler Unlimited in China, along with the all-new Compass, the Renegade, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee.
As China’s middle class continues to grow, so will the market for mid-range vehicles such as those offered by Jeep. The brand enjoyed a sales surge of 93% in the first nine months of 2016 and with the intro of the locally produced Compass late last year, 2017 should be an equally as strong sales year for the brand in the region.