China's Great Wall eyes Fiat Chrysler bid

China's Great Wall eyes Fiat Chrysler bid

"We now have an intention to acquire [parts of Fiat Chrysler]", an official at China's Great Wall Motor's press department told Reuters on Monday.

Fiat Chrysler shares surged to their highest level in almost two decades last week as investors speculated about a Chinese takeover of the automaker.

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.

"There is an intention to make the purchase", a Great Wall Motor spokeswoman told AFP, though she declined to say if the possible deal would be for the entire auto giant or just one of its brands.

"With respect to this case, we now have an intention to acquire", a statement from Great Wall said on Monday.

The industry publication cited a Great Wall spokesman confirming interest, but saying the Chinese automaker had not made a formal offer or met with FCA's board.

Great Wall is known for its sport-utility vehicles, which are popular in China, so a deal would be "quite complementary" for the company, the analyst said.

FCA shares rose 3.9 per cent to 11.12 euros in early Milan trading, outperforming a flat market. The stock added another 3.3% in Milan on Monday, while Great Wall gained 1.6% in Hong Kong.

Jeep has an global reputation that has been built up since the Second World War. They said the Jeep brand on its own is worth more than the current market value of the company, for example.

Fiat Chrysler also owns Alfa Romeo, Maserati and RAM trucks as well as the Fiat and Chrysler brands.

A move for FCA or one of its main brands would be challenging to finance, and would have to overcome serious regulatory hurdles - but it would boost Great Wall's position in the U.S. market and globally. Wei is the surname of the Great Wall founder and chairman Wei Jianjun. Within a few years, it was a top seller, with its H6 model topping sales charts going back to 2014.

They said Great Wall Motor had been making plans for some time to enter the USA market, mainly by upgrading some of its key products and improving branding.

The company this year launched its Wei brand of potentially US-market-ready vehicles.