For the past several years,Fiat
Chrysler CEOSergio Marchionne
has made it widely known that the automaker he helms is up for grabs. First, hesent an email to GM CEO Mary Barra
, who immediatelyrefused to even discuss a merger
. Later, Marchionneset his sights on Volkswagen
. That too was swiftly rebuffed. It seemed like no global automaker was remotely interested in a partnership. Now,Automotive News reports
that severalChinese automakers
have come calling, onlyFCA
isn't ready to answer. At least not yet.
The news broke this morning that a major Chinese automaker had made an offer to purchase FCA for slightly above market value. FCA refused, saying the offer wasn't quite generous enough. It's unclear which automaker made the offer, but Automotive News says there's more than one interested party. FCA representatives have recently traveled to China to meet with Great Wall Motors, while Chinese representatives were seen at FCA corporate headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.
The Chinese government has a lot of money invested in local automakers. It's putting pressure on these automakers to expand globally, including to the United States. As it stands, it's a matter of when a Chinese automaker will startselling cars
here, not if. Purchasing an established automaker with a wide range of products and a hugedealer
network would do wonders in giving the Chinese a foothold here. Sure, Geely ownsVolvo
, but a luxury automaker doesn't have nearly as much reach as a more mainstream company like FCA.
This seems like the best case scenario for both a Chinese automaker looking to move into the U.S. and for FCA, at least from a business standpoint. The latter doesn't seem to have any other interested parties. It will be interesting to see how FCA would sell a deal like this to the public. We're not sure everyone will be happy withDodge
and Ram falling under Chinese ownership. FCA didn't turn down the Chinese because they didn't like the idea. It turned down the offer because there wasn't enough money on the table.Related Video: