Hot on the heels of rumors that a Chinese automaker was looking at purchasing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Great Wall Motor Co. has revealed its interest in buying the Jeep brand.
In an email to Automotive News, Great Wall president Wang Fengying confirmed interest in purchasing Jeep and a spokesman for the Chinese automaker said it could help Great Wall become a major player in the SUV industry.
“We are deeply interested in the Jeep brand and have paid close attention to it for a long time. Our strategic goal is to become the world’s largest SUV maker. Acquiring Jeep, a global SUV brand, would enable us to achieve our goal sooner and better,” the spokesman said.
FCA chief executive Sergio Marchionne hasn’t commented on any plans to sell off the Jeep brand but in April, he did say the automaker is strong enough to stand on its own.
According to Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jones, Jeep is worth $33.5 billion, more than the rest of FCA combined. Even if that figure is accurate, Great Wall appears confident that it could raise enough funds to make an acquisition offer.
“Great Wall has a strong track record in making good profits. We are also listed in Hong Kong and Shanghai. We can make use of our accumulated profits as well as our access to the capital market to make the deal happen,” said spokesman Xu Hui.