Is a Breakup on the Horizon?
It’sno secret that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has been searching for the last few years to find a partner that would take over the operations or at least assist in them for the FCA group.
While the goal has been to keep the brands together and allow the entire group to remain intact, it appears there is interest in one part of what FCA has to offer that would leave the rest of the family left in a bit of lurch should this one part of the group be sold off to the highest bidder.
The Interested Party
There is one party interested in purchasing just a part of what FCA has to offer. The Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motor Company has set its sight on becoming the world’s biggest sport-utility brand and they feel that it can become the case if they are able to purchase the Jeep brand from FCA. This is the only aspect of what FCA has to offer that Great Wall is interested in, but this could cause a bit of a problem for what FCA has to offer overall because the Jeep brand is by far the gem of the automotive group.
Over the past few years, Great Wall has been watching with interest at the growth and development of the Jeep brand and what it’s bringing to the market along with the future that will happen in the next few years. This public interest comes on the heels of the release of the 707-horsepower Grand Cherokee Trackhawk which will be the most powerful Jeep model ever produced. Unfortunately, the scenario that brings this brand to the Great Wall family isn’t what Marchionne has wanted for FCA at all as he’s been working to try and find a partner that FCA could work with.
Could the Jeep brand become part of the Great Wall brand of vehicles? It appears there are a few roadblocks that could be in the way before this would ever become a reality. With the goal of being able to keep the brands of FCA together with only the higher luxury brands being handled separately, Sergio Marchionne has searched for a partner by looking to GM and Volkswagen as possibilities but that hasn’t created any traction yet. Because of this, Marchionne has been entertaining the possibility of selling the entire group as it is to the highest bidder.
Will Great Wall purchase all of FCA just to get the Jeep brand? This isn’t unheard of in the market and Chrysler has done exactly the same thing. Back in the late 1980s, Chrysler purchased American Motors when the interest in the company was in the Jeep brand. While there was a short period of time when the Eagle division continued to offer models, the rest of what AMC had to offer eventually faded off into history to be a nostalgic thought that we remember from time to time, but haven’t been seen since.
Other than the fact that Great Wall could buy FCA and get rid of all brands except Jeep or all except Jeep and Ram, the idea that a Chinese company could purchase FCA might have one more roadblock. It’s highly unlikely the current presidential administration would approve the sale of this brand to a Chinese automaker, no matter how good the deal is.