Those are words you might need to get used to hearing, as the possibility of a sale of Chrysler’s parent to a Chinese automaker has become very real.
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA, has made it clear he’s looking to partner with another automaker. General Motors and Ford have both denied him, and now the auto exec is taking suitors from overseas. In fact, he has reportedly received and rejected one bid from a Chinese automaker, but that has opened the door to the possibility of receiving an acceptable offer for an outright takeover.
NBC News reported,
Word of a bid by an unspecified Chinese automaker first appeared in the trade publication Automotive News on Monday morning. Sources told NBC News the bid may have come from Guangzhou Automobile Group, or GAC, which is based in a region traditionally known as Canton, in southern China.
GAC already has a relationship with FCA. Under Chinese law, foreign manufacturers must partner with a local company to produce vehicles in the country, and the Jeep Renegade began rolling off an assembly line operated by GAC Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in April 2016.
While GAC seems like a good candidate, FCA executives have also met in Detroit with representatives from Great Wall Motors. In another ominous sign, Michael Manley, the FCA exec who oversees the Jeep brand, recently missed a planned media event to fly to China.
We don’t know if a sale of FCA to a Chinese automaker is imminent or not, but it does appear to be a possibility.
Chinese automakers have wanted to get into the U.S. market for years, and buying FCA could be the easiest way to do that. While the first offer was rejected, it could only be a matter of time before another one looks appealing enough to send Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, and Fiat into Chinese ownership.
Keep in mind that Volvo was purchased by Geely, a Chinese automaker, and now builds some of the best cars in its history.
Would you be more or less likely to purchase a Jeep if it were owned by a Chinese automaker?
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