Marchionne Sets Ambitious Goal for Jeep of 1 Million Sales in 2014

One of the most significant contributors to the Chrysler Group's success in 2013 was the Jeep brand, which set an all-time sales record of 731,565 in 2013. But as impressive as that performance was, Chrysler/Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has his sights set even higher for 2014, with a global sales target of 1 million Jeeps in 2014, according to Reuters.

The key enabler for the higher sales goal is the introduction of the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, filling the hole left with the departure of the Liberty mid-sized SUV. In its first few months of sales, the Cherokee is selling strongly so far, but in order to reach Marchionne's 2014 sales goal, the Cherokee will have to maintain and grow its five-figure sales pace.

Also expected to contribute to the brand's fortunes toward the end of the year, the so-far unnamed subcompact Italian-built Jeep model will go on-sale in Europe and the U.S., with other markets to follow. Logistical bottlenecks at the Jefferson North plant in Detroit that builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee have been reportedly been resolved, that should enable greater output and export capability.

Another unknown variable, and unlikely to come in time to contribute to 2014 sales, is the Chinese government's final approval of plans to build the Jeep Cherokee in Guangzhou, in southern China.

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