Get ready for the ‘Made In China’ Jeep. It will probably be much cheaper and have more tech when it arrives. Yes, the iconic Jeep will be sold to a Chinese company before Christmas this year.
Chinese car companies and other industries are under government pressure to expand outside China by acquiring foreign companies. FCA may be a perfect target, given that CEO Sergio Marchionne has focused on streamlining the automaker’s operations to make it enticing to a buyer, making bold moves such as exiting small cars and sedans and revamping the company’s manufacturing footprint.
It’s unclear which Chinese automaker or automakers are pursuing FCA. Different sources have pointed to involvement by different ones, like Dongfeng Motor, Great Wall, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group or FCA’s current joint venture partner in China, Guangzhou Automobile Group. But it is also unclear which company or companies are likely to follow through or succeed.
FCA isn’t talking, nor are any of the four Chinese automakers. But if a sale proceeds, the quintessentially American Jeep brand once owned by the Germans and most recently by the Italians/Dutch may soon be owned by the Chinese.