It all began way back in August 2017, when reports went viral about Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) getting ready for a takeover by some Chinese car automaker. Ever since that happened, we’ve constantly come across rumours about FCA merging or selling one of the group’s auto brands.
What’s actually happening here is that there are a lot of talks happening between FCA and the Chinese automakers. To be specific, a partnership exists between FCA and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. (GAC). This is so that the former can sell Jeeps in the Chinese market. Well, now you can put two-and-two together, and picture why these meetings confuse industry experts into believing that some sort of takeover game plan is being staged.
Plus, you might ask what’s in it for GAC? FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has reportedly agreed to help GAC enter the U.S. market (expected in 2019), in return. While all this is happening behind the scenes, a source recently reported GAC’s intention to buy Jeep from FCA, and you can now understand why it caught a lot of attention. However, Marchionne denied these rumours while speaking at the Detroit Auto Show. He stated that FCA has “no intention of breaking it up and giving anything to the Chinese.”
These are powerful words from a brand that has reportedly contemplated to sell Maserati, admitted to a possible merger with Hyundai, and also disclosed their intent to sell both Jeep and Ram if the circumstances were right. If, indeed, Jeep fell in to Chinese hands, it could mark the end of its distinctive identity as a true-blue American muscle SUV.