Other Chinese companies may also be interested
Representatives from a Chinese automaker offered to buy Fiat Chrysler this month, according to Automotive News. The proposal was rejected, says an unnamed source cited in the report, but other automakers from China may be eyeing their chance to purchase the maker of the lucrative Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500.
FCA reportedly turned down the automaker for not offering enough money, which was a small premium over FCA’s market value. Various sources told AN that other large Chinese automakers are researching a potential purchase of FCA. One said that FCA executives have met with Great Wall Motor Co., while certain execs from China visited FCA’s headquarters in Michigan last week.
“We are declining to comment,” an FCA spokeswoman told Motor Trend. The report says Chinese automakers are facing government pressure to expand business outside China by acquiring foreign companies.
Depending on which anonymous sources you ask, the report says, a whole host of automakers may be eyeing FCA, from Dongfeng Motor Corp., Great Wall, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, or FCA’s current joint venture partner in China, Guangzhou Automobile Group. Incidentally, an earlier report said that Guangzhou was seeking help from FCA to enter the U.S. market.
Also, rumors have sprouted up again that FCA might spin off the Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands. According to one source, FCA would sell off Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Fiat, but Maserati and Alfa Romeo would branch off like Ferrari.
Although none of this information has been confirmed, it’s relatively easy to imagine FCA changing up the way it does business. CEO Sergio Marchionne has campaigned for a merger in the past. At one time, he approached General Motors about such a tie-up, although it was refused. Recently, he said a merger with GM was less attractive now that PSA nabbed Opel.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)