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Jeep aims to treble sales

Chrysler will sell only 4,200 Jeep models in Britain next year.

But the US brand is on course to treble that volume by 2014, claims its UK sales director Rob Hatfield, backed by four new model launches and a “phenomenal” response to dealer recruitment.

“It’s phenomenal and hard to believe, given the situation Chrysler has been in recently.

"We’re busy signing up new partners and we also have a lot of new prospects declaring strong interest. Things are looking good,” he said.

That follows a period of turmoil for Chrysler’s network, when long-standing volume partners such as Hatfields and Jardine Motors closed showrooms as the brand’s market share plunged and profits disappeared.

Whitehouse Group, a 75-year Chrysler retailer with three sites, went bust.

The Fiat Auto subsidiary now has 48 sales outlets plus 32 authorised repairers to achieve 60% market coverage. But it wants 70 retailers next year, and 90 by 2014 to gain optimum coverage.

“Our target is to be reaching annual sales of 13,800 by then, a figure that seems ambitious, but we believe to be achievable,” he said.

Hatfield said of five prospective partners invited to the carmaker’s first conference after the merger, four signed up on the day.

“We’re having a great response and existing partners are also expanding along with us - like some of our customers, they are proving to be very loyal.”

Currently, Chrysler’s only UK market product is the Voyager, but the C-segment Delta hatchback arrives in June, followed by the Epsilon supermini in September.

A new 300C executive car range will arrive next year.

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