It's already China's biggest maker of SUVs and pickup trucks. And now Great Wall Motor Co is setting its sights on something bigger. The Chinese automaker confirming Monday that it's looking to make a deal to buy Fiat Chrysler. If a deal comes together, it will not only be the biggest ever Chinese take over in the global auto industry but it would put an iconic American brand into Chinese hands, says Reuters' transportation editor, Joe White.
>> Jeep particularly in the United States has an emotional resonance from, basically it was the hero vehicle for GIs in World War II. It has more recently come to symbolize kind of an American adventurous spirit.>> But the two sides haven't even talked according to Fiat Chrysler. And even if they did, would that even lead to a deal?
Any buyout is likely to face hurdles in both Washington and Beijing.>> In the automotive industry there's a specific issue where a Chinese company could, at least in theory, buy all of Fiat Chrysler. But a Unites States company could not go to China and buy and own a 100% owned operation in China.
That's been a real sticking point. The Trump administration clearly could use that as a lever to say, look, you can't buy our auto companies if you won't let us buy yours.>> In Beijing, there's already a crack down on money flowing out of China with a price tag that's certain to be north of Fiat Chrysler's $21 billion market value regulators there, which certainly raise an eyebrow.
And there could be an even bigger roadblock that has nothing to do with either government. Great Walls seems to only be interested in getting its hands on the globally recognizable Jeep brand. But Fiat Chrysler needs its biggest moneymaker to fund innovation in self-driving cars and electric vehicles across all its various product lines.
Investors think some kind of deal is coming from Fiat Chrysler, shares rushing to an all-time high.