Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Chinese Company Wants To Buy Jeep

Jeep, company acquisition, business finance, Jeep Grand Cherokee 2017

Chinese SUV manufacturer Great Wall Motors said that they are interested in acquiring the American car company Jeep, which is their attempt to expand globally. A company spokesman confirmed the bid interest on Monday, though a formal offer has not been made, according to the Associated Press.

In a statement, Jeep owner Fiat Chrysler, responding to what it called “market rumors,” said it has not been approached by Great Wall Motors for any business matters. Nevertheless, shares of Great Wall and Fiat Chrysler jumped on the possibility of a tie-up.

Fiat Chrysler statement: “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. FCA is fully committed to its 2014-18 plan, having achieved each one of its targets to date and with only six quarters left to its completion.”

The news is not a surprise to people in the auto industry, since Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne has made no secret of his desire for a merger or buyer to better position the world’s seventh-largest car company to compete globally against the likes of Volkswagen and Toyota. He previously pursued a deal with General Motors.

In April, he said Chrysler’s Jeep and Dodge brands are strong enough to stand alone like Ferrari, which the company spun off in 2015.

Italian automaker Fiat merged with Chrysler after the American auto giant stumbled during the Great Recession and filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009. The conglomerate’s brands include not just Fiat and Chrysler, but Alfa Romero, Maserati, Dodge, Ram and Jeep among others.

But Jeep and the Ram truck line are considered Fiat Chrysler’s most highly valued properties. Without Jeep, analysts said the automaker would be greatly diminished. Jeep has enjoyed several years of strong growth, however U.S. sales dropped by 13% in the first half of 2017, that has been due mainly to a restructuring of Jeep production in the U.S. The brand remains highly prized and would be, perhaps, the strongest enticement for anyone to partner with or purchase Fiat Chrysler.

Established in 1984, Great Wall is China’s largest manufacturer of SUVs and pickups

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