The all-American Jeep Wranger will have Indian-made seats by mid-2009!
In a bid to source more parts from lower-cost countries like India and China, US-based carmaker Chrysler will soon start sourcing seats for its famous Jeep Wrangler, from Delhi-based Krishna Maruti Ltd (KML). Chrysler will order seats worth about Rs 400 crore, and the seats would be fitted on 120,000 vehicles per annum.
KML, a JV between Maruti Udyog and Ashok Kapur & Associates, is one of South Asia’s largest seating systems manufacturer. The company will ship seating sub-assemblies to Ohio, in the US, where the Jeep Wrangler is manufactured. The Indian-made seats should find their way into American Jeep Wranglers by June 2009.
While Chrysler’s order may lead to even bigger and better things for KML, in the US market, Chrysler is also talking to various auto manufacturers in India. The American company wants to explore the possibility of setting up JVs with Indian companies, for making low-cost cars for emerging markets. The company wants to expand its traditional user base in America and also establishing a presence in new and growing markets like India, China, South America and Eastern Europe.
Former parent Daimler sold its 80% stake in Chrysler last year to Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity investment firm that paid US$7.4 billion to buy Chrysler ownership. The DaimlerChrysler merger lasted for nine years, but was never very successful.