Jeep plans expansion after increased sales in 2014

Jeep is set to accelerate its growth ambitions outside of the United States after selling more than a million cars for the first time in 2014. It is targeting a near doubling of sales to 1.9m cars by 2018.

Last year, Jeep sold 692,348 cars in the US, just fewer than 70 per cent of its entire sales volume. Asia accounted for 132,000 sales, while 88,000 cars were bought in China, a rise of 49 per cent year on year.

Speaking at the 2015 Detroit motor show, Jeep boss Mike Manley said: “Our focus now is to grow localised production, notably in China and South America. We have the right products with the right appeal, but we are behind the curve in terms of being an importer into some very important markets.”

If Jeep hits its 2018 sales goal of 1.9m cars, it will mark a sales growth of 160 per cent since 2013.

Jeep Potential Safety Problem

U.S. safety regulators said on Friday they have opened an investigation into an estimated 50,415 newer Jeep Cherokee SUVs, a key model for the profitability of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles , after receiving complaints of engine compartment fires.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it opened the preliminary evaluation into the 2015-model SUVs after a consumer from the San Diego area filed a complaint that their Jeep was "engulfed in flames approximately 20 feet high within seconds of parking the vehicle." There were no injuries reported.

The vehicle was purchased on Jan. 2 and the fire occurred two days later after the SUV had been driven less than 100 miles, according to the complaint filed by the consumer.