Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has been publicly shopping the automaker around for over two years, and his buyer may come from China.
After a few failed attempts to cozy up to General Motors, and Volkswagen for that matter, Automotive News reports FCA has a handful of Chinese automakers interested in buying out the automaker. The report states one Chinese automaker has already presented an offer to FCA, though the automaker rejected the sum and deemed it not enough.
Chinese automakers are under immense pressure from the state government to expand their operations outside of the country. FCA would be a turn-key operation for whichever automaker writes the big enough check. The report goes on to state FCA officials have flown out to China to discuss buyout options and Chinese delegations have been seen at FCA’s global headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Should a Chinese automaker succeed in buying FCA, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat and Ram would be included with the sale. However, Maserati and Alfa Romeo would be spun off and held by Exfor for maximum profits in a similar way Ferrari was plucked from the FCA portfolio.
Potential Chinese automakers reportedly bidding for FCA include Dongfeng Motor Corp., Great Wall, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and FCA’s current joint venture partner in China, Guangzhou Automobile Group. Geely, in particular, has already begun to expand its automaking business after it acquired Volvo from Ford years ago. It also recently bought a 51-percent stake in Proton, which earned it Lotus in the process.
If Marchionne is keen on seeing FCA merged or sold off to another automaker, after rejections from both VW and GM, it seems his answer will arrive from the east, not the west, at this point.