One of America's automotive Big Three might soon be under the control of a Chinese automaker.
Great Wall Motors has signaled an interest in acquiring some or all of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Reuters reports, citing a phone conversation with someone at Great Wall's press office. The official would only say that the company is interested in acquiring FCA and offered no further details.
Fiat Chrysler, on the other hand, isn't saying much of anything. "In response to market rumors regarding a potential interest of Great Wall Motors in the Jeep brand, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles confirmed that it has not been approached by Great Wall Motors in connection with the Jeep brand or any other matter relating to its business," a Fiat Chrysler spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
If this deal were to go through, with a value approaching $20 billion, Fiat Chrysler would become China's single largest overseas automotive deal, far outpacing Geely's purchase of Volvo. Great Wall's value is slightly below Fiat Chrysler's, as well.
While the deal could well include all of Fiat Chrysler's brands, Automotive News reports that Great Wall is primarily interested in Jeep. Jeep is the most valuable part of Fiat Chrysler right now, followed closely by Ram. Automotive News said a Great Wall spokesman told the outlet that it wanted to become the world's largest SUV manufacturer.
Fiat Chrysler has been looking for a merger for some time now, citing a need to consolidate resources and reduce wasted capital. American and European automakers, including General Motors and Volkswagen, brushed off the idea in its earlier stages. Eyes turned to China recently, but several large Chinese automakers also denied an interest in purchasing Fiat Chrysler -- until Great Wall, that is.