Things have heated up at Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles as it seems FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has doubled down on seeking buyers and or mergers for his automaker. The most recent candidate of Marchionne? South Korea’s Hyundai.
The Asia Times reports Marchionne is now interested in the South Korean automaker for a potential tie-up after Chinese merger and buyout rumors swelled in new reports. A handful of Chinese automakers have denied any interest in FCA or its brand, but China’s Great Wall Motor Co surfaced as a potential buyer for FCA itself, but more specifically, the Jeep brand.
A Washington D.C. merger and acquisition regulatory lawyer spoke on the condition of anonymity and said the notion that a Chinese company would succeed in purchasing FCA or any of its American brands is likely out of the question.
“The notion of a Chinese company taking over such an American icon as the Jeep raises hackles not only of the Trump administration but of almost every single member of the Michigan congressional delegation,” the lawyer said. “CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) is a very opaque committee easily influenced by domestic political sentiments.”
A Hyundai-FCA merger makes significantly more sense as well. Both automakers wouldn’t deal with nearly as much product overlap and Hyundai could have much to gain from FCA’s truck and SUV divisions.