China's Biggest SUV Maker Wants to Buy American Classic Jeep
21 August, 2017, 16:14 | Author: Leticia Walters
FCA shares soared on Monday after trade publication Automotive News reported the carmaker rebuffed a takeover from an unidentified Chinese carmaker. Great Wall's spokeswoman did not confirm whether the companies had made any contact yet but she confirmed the intention to make an offer.
Mr. Marchionne, long at the helm of Fiat, believes auto makers need to get bigger and consolidate in order to shoulder regulatory costs and to keep up on emerging technology. "Our strategic goal is to become the world's largest SUV maker". Following the Great Wall rumours, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles shares grew by3.5% in Milan.
"We are deeply interested in the Jeep brand and have paid close attention to it for a long time", Xu Hui, a spokesman for Great Wall, also confirmed.
Great Wall Motor ranks only as the seventh biggest Chinese auto company in terms of sales - 1.07 million in China a year ago - but any purchase of FCA would take the firm to another level. Earlier, officials declined to comment on the earlier Automotive News report focused on Jeep.
Yale Zhang, head of the Shanghai consultancy Automotive Foresight, commented: "Jeep is the most logical choice since (Great Wall) wants to be the largest SUV maker in the world".
Its reputation dates back to World War Two, when Jeeps were used extensively by the United States military.
"The Jeep brand is recognised globally".
However, the Jeep brand alone could be worth as much as $27bn, according to Morgan Stanley analysts.
Great Wall Motors Ltd., headquartered in Baoding, southwest of Beijing, is one of a series of independent Chinese automakers that have grown up alongside state-owned giants such as Shanghai Automotive Industries.
While he acknowledged that Jeep, Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo could exist on their own, he appeared to pour cold water on the idea that any of them would be sold - at least not without leaving behind a less profitable "stump" that may struggle on its own.
The company earlier this year officially launched a new "Wei" brand of potentially US -market ready vehicles.
Analysts at Jefferies said the price was 5 percent ahead of its estimates and 18 percent more than consensus of $6.3 billion. Not a bad deal for both sides, taking into account the prolonged downturn in the gas and oil industry.
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