GWM wants to buy FCA
GREAT Wall Motors (GWM) has always had a thing for Fiat and now China’ seventh-largest vehicle builder plans to “put a ring on it”.
In 2008, GWM was embroiled in a copyright issue with Fiat after shamelessly cloning the Fiat Panda.
GWM this week announced its plan to buy all, or part of Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
GWM last year sold 1,07 million vehicles, but any purchase of FCA would take the Chinese firm to another level.
FCA earned a net profit of $1,9 billion for 2016 compared with just $100 million in 2015 during restructuring and massive recalls. The U.S. car industry publication
Automotive News reported earlier that Great Wall Motor president Wang Fengying had said in an e-mail that her company intended to buy FCA’s Jeep brand.
Jeep, Automotive News noted, is “the jewel in FCA’s crown” as the brand’s reputation dates back from World War 2. Great Wall is known for its sport-utility vehicles, which are popular in China.
AFP speculates while sales of FCA models are ebbing in the U.S., GWM’s bid could offer a lifeline to Fiat Chrysler, in particular for its Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat brands.
FCA’s shares have soared on reports of a potential deal.
In a statement on Monday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it had not been approached by Great Wall.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in April that Jeep and Chrysler’s Ram truck brand are strong enough to stand alone.
The company had sold Ferrari in 2015 into a separate business.