The future of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has been up in the air for some time now. Sergio Marchionne - the group’s CEO - has been wanting to merge the company with another, with VW Group touted as an option at one point. Speculation over FCA’s future stepped up a notch further last week when the company reportedly turned down a buyout offer from an unnamed Chinese manufacturer, with talk of an imminent break-up of the firm.
One week on, and Reuters is reporting that China’s Great Wall Motors is officially interested in buying all or part of FCA. “With respect to this case, we currently have an intention to acquire. We are interested in [FCA],” a Great Wall official told the news agency today.
However, it seems Great Wall is mostly interested in just the tastiest part of the pie: Jeep. Speaking to Automotive News, Great Wall spokesman Xu Hue said: “We are deeply interested in the Jeep brand and have paid close attention to it for a long time…Our strategic goal is to become the world’s largest SUV maker. Acquiring Jeep, a global SUV brand, would enable us to achieve our goal sooner and better.”
By going down that route, Great Wall would bag the most profitable bit of FCA, and avoid all the debt. Whether it goes for just Jeep or all of FCA though, the result either way would be China’s largest overseas automotive acquisition. FCA meanwhile has released a statement, saying that it has not been approached by Great Wall.