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China's Great Wall eyes Fiat Chrysler bid

China's Great Wall eyes Fiat Chrysler bid

China's Great Wall Motor is sizing up Fiat Chrysler, the Italian-American carmaker that also owns Jeep.A Great Wall official told Reuters it had "an intention to acquire" some or all of the world's seventh-largest car maker.However, Fiat Chrysler said it was yet to receive an approach from Great Wall - China's biggest SUV maker.Earlier reports said the Chinese firm had asked to meet Fiat executives to discuss buying the Jeep brand.Jeep, which celebrated its 75th birthday last year, is considered FCA's most valuable asset.
Its reputation dates back to World War Two, when Jeeps were used extensively by the US military.
Global ambitions
Shares in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles jumped 2.8% in Milan on Monday following the news.
Sergio Marchionne is chief executive of Fiat Chrysler
Yale Zhang, head of Shanghai-based consultancy Automotive Foresight, said: "Jeep is the most logical choice, since [Great Wall] wants to be the largest SUV maker in the world. "The Jeep brand is recognised globally. I think Great Wall Motor is eyeing a global strategy, not just the United States."
Great Wall Motor
Set up in 1984, it is China's largest SUV and pick-up truck producer
Great Wall is vying with Geely to become the first Chinese carmaker to go global
Any bid could prove unpopular with US President Donald Trump, who is investigating Chinese trade practices and wants to protect US car manufacturing jobs
FCA already manufacturers some of its Jeeps in China, with local partner Guangzhou Automobile Group Co
The FCA's $19bn (?14.74bn) equity value could be a big ask for Great Wall, but it does have state investors
Great Wall's president, Wang Fengying, is listed as the 7th most powerful woman in the Asia-Pacific by Fortune Magazine
Earlier this year, it officially launched a new premium SUV brand called Wei, which potentially could tap into the US market.Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne is seeking a partner or buyer to help it manage rising costs, emissions regulations and the development of electric and self-driving cars.FCA also owns Alfa Romeo, Maserati and RAM trucks.
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