UPDATE 1-Fiat Chrysler to start Jeep production in India from 2017
* Company to invest in producing Jeep in India
* Fiat targeting 1.9 mln Jeep sales for 2018
* India to be No. 3 car market by 2020 - IHS Automotive (Adds details, background; changes dateline)
By Aditi Shah
NEW DELHI, July 1 (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler will invest $280 million to begin Jeep production in India from 2017 through an expanded joint venture with Tata Motors, the carmaker said on Wednesday.
Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne is pursuing ambitious sales targets for Jeep and other group brands under a turnaround plan outlined last year.
By 2018, the carmaker aims almost to double the 1 million Jeep sales recorded in 2014. Local production for major markets is key to meeting that goal, Jeep chief Mike Manley said last week.
The Indian investment is an "important step as we continue to expand the availability of Jeep products around the world", Marchionne said in a company statement.
Along with its stablemate Alfa Romeo, Jeep is at the heart of Marchionne's 48 billion-euro ($54 billion) expansion plan for the group he forged by merging Italy's Fiat with U.S. carmaker Chrysler. Continuación...