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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV

21 August 2017

Automotive News reported that Great Wall is particularly interested in Jeep, the group's most profitable brand.

In a separate report Monday, Automotive News said the Chinese carmaker had expressed interest in buying the Jeep brand and has contacted Fiat to see whether a deal could be negotiated.

China's Great Wall Motor signalled on Monday its intention to make an ambitious offer to buy all or part of Italian-American vehicle maker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

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The US auto industry publication Automotive News reported earlier that Great Wall president Wang Fengying had said in an email that his company meant to buy FCA's Jeep brand.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry accused the US of "unilateralism and protectionism", saying it will take "all appropriate measures ... to safeguard China's legitimate rights and interests". "Acquiring Jeep, a global SUV brand, would enable us to achieve our goal sooner and better [than on our own]". On average, equities research analysts predict that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. will post $2.58 earnings per share for the current year.

Shares of Great Wall gained 1.8 percent to HK$10.10 as of 3:55 Hong Kong trading.

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Yale Zhang, head of the Shanghai consultancy Automotive Foresight, commented: "Jeep is the most logical choice since (Great Wall) wants to be the largest SUV maker in the world". However, selling Jeep would be the equivalent of putting the first nail in its own coffin as it's hard to imagine how the company could compete in the US with just Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram.

Great Wall's "interest in purchasing FCA highly fits our professional development path and strategy of globalisation", the spokeswoman said.

A move for FCA or one of its main brands, if successful, would allow Great Wall Motor to accelerate a planned push into the USA market, the two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

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The company earlier this year officially launched a new "Wei" brand of potentially USA -market ready vehicles. Wei is the surname of the Great Wall founder and chairman Wei Jianjun.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV