The Chinese are in the market to make further automotive acquisitions worldwide. North America remains very attractive but the local Chinese carmakers have yet to make strides with we highly demanding car buyers.
FCA may very well become the gateway to the American dream from the Chinese as the American car company has been for sale for a while. In truth, their plan was to initially create a partnership and merge with GM or create important ties with Volkswagen. These failed attempts pushed FCA’s leadership to make decisions such as shifting their focus on products that sell, such as Jeep and RAM, and dropping some that don’t, namely the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200.
For the right sum (apparently an offer was recently made but the amount was deemed insufficient), FCA will provide its new owners with a vast network of dealerships (2,600 in the US plus those in Canada and Mexico) 162 assembly and manufacturing plants and just shy of 90 research and development centers. To a Chinese company looking to expand its business globally, especially in North America, few deals would come close to providing a more complete package.
With the exception of its larger vehicles, FCA struggles to compete with its American counterparts. An influx of new blood and bottomless pits of cash could do wonders for FCA, as it did for Volvo when Geely acquired them in 2010.
At the moment, all are mum on naming potential suitor names but the most obvious purchasers/partners could be FCA’s current associate in China, Guangzhou Automobile Group, or Dongfeng Motor Corp., Great Wall, and lastly, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.