Fiat-Chrysler has started operations at its new joint venture plant in Guangzhou, southern China.

The plant is managed by GAC Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles Company, a 50:50 joint venture between Guangzhou Automobile Group Company and the Netherlands-incorporated Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles NV.

Located in the Panyu district of Guangzhou, the new plant has an annual production capacity of 160,000 vehicles, worth some CNY28.2bn (US$4.3bn). It produces Jeep-brand models for the local market.

The company hopes to tap into China's fast-growing SUV segment which has been the main driver of growth in the world's largest vehicle market in the last year. 

The GAC Fiat-Chrysler joint venture company was originally established in 2010 and is headquartered in Changsa in nearby Hunan province where the first plant was completed in 2012. This facility has an annual capacity of 140,000 units and produces Fiat vehicles including the Vaggio and Ottimo passenger cars.