Fiat reportedly is close to a deal to build Chrysler's Jeep models in China.

Since about two years ago, there have been numerous reports of production with local partner Guangzhou being planned. A framework deal was agreed last January.

Citing sources, Bloomberg News said Fiat had made concessions to its Chinese partner over the manufacturing site and was close to a deal to begin producing the vehicles in China.

A previous partnership assembled Jeeps from the mid-80s to the mid 2000s but the company now called Beijing Benz is a JV involving one time Chrysler owner Daimler.

The news agency said Fiat recently agreed to locate Jeep assembly near Guangzhou Automobile Group's base in the Panyu district of Guangzhou, backing off a previous plan to use another site. Final approval is still awaited.

The Chinese government approved Guangzhou Auto and Fiat’s plan to spend CNY4.7bn (US$770m) on a new factory with initial capacity of 60,000 units a year, a statement posted on the website of the Development and Reform Commission of Guangzhou Municipality said earlier this year.

Bloomberg's sources said the Cherokee would probably be the first Jeep model built at the plant - sales of Fiats made at the plant have failed to live up to expectations.

Fiat originally planned to make Jeeps at the existing Viaggio sedan plant in Changsha but spare capacity there now will be assigned for the Ottimo hatchback variant in the first half of 2014.

Jeep was the first western badge sold in China and the models built there were based on an older Cherokee model line.

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