With an aim to grow its presence in India, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) on Tuesday said that the company will invest USD 250 million and will launch four new sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) under its Jeep brand over the next two years. FCA, in a statement, said that the investment will be made to locally manufacture a mid-size, three-row SUV, assemble the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee vehicles in the country and launch a new version of its Jeep Compass SUV. Also Read - 'Punjabi Lioness': 62-Year-Old Woman Drives a Jeep From Patiala to Singhu Border to Join Farmers' Protest, Diljit Dosanjh Shares Pic

“Our new investment of USD 250 million will give us a competitive edge in multiple segments,” Partha Datta, managing director for FCA India said in the statement, adding that it is determined to increase locally-made components in its vehicles. It is important to note that FCA currently has less than a 1 percent share of India’s passenger vehicle market and adding new vehicles to its portfolio will help the automaker to increase local sourcing of components, achieve better economies of scale, reduce costing and boost sales. Also Read - Honda Discontinues Civic and CR-V, Shuts Production at Greater Noida Facility

The investment comes at a time when automakers globally have been battered by the pandemic, and automakers in India have been further stung with the domestic market slowing down even ahead of this in 2019. Also Read - Honda Likely to Launch City 2020 in India in March, Thai Version Launched in November

Japan’s Honda Motor Co has been forced to shutter one of its two plants in the country, and General Motors last month stopped producing cars in India for export after ceasing domestic sales in 2017.

India has also seen the entry of new automakers over the last couple of years including South Korea’s Kia Motors and China’s SAIC Motor Corp. FCA will produce and assemble the new SUVs at its car plant in western India, which it jointly owns with domestic automaker Tata Motors.

FCA’s three-row SUV is expected to compete with Ford Motor’s Endeavour and Toyota Motor’s Fortuner SUVs. The latest round takes FCA’s total investment in India to over $700 million, including $150 million in a new global tech centre.

(With agency inputs)