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Closing another rumor down

by Bill Cawthon on

Closing out another week of FCA takeover rumors, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that Chinese automaker Great Wall has expressed “big uncertainties” about an acquisition of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Great Wall started out by saying they wanted to buy Jeep (and only Jeep), then went to saying it wanted to take over FCA as a whole, and finally said that, without having even contacted FCA, its plans had “not generated concrete progress as of now” (as we noted yesterday, they had not actually spoken with FCA officials).

Great Wall’s ardor may have been dampened by the Chinese government’s lack of a positive response. As mentioned in Allpar’s Tuesday morning update, government approval was needed to finance an acquisition, but recent restrictions on investments in foreign companies, coupled with Chinese preferences for state-owned firms, could make getting a green light from Beijing difficult.

Since larger Chinese automakers have disclaimed any work on a deal for FCA, it appears that days of speculation on new ownership for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will end up just like the days of speculation on other auto industry tie-ups: much ado about not much at all.

That doesn’t rule out any deal at all — as we wrote earlier this week, some sources are claiming that a deal is in the works, just not one which involves actual car or truck brands. For the moment, Chinese Chryslers or Jeeps are still unlikely.10

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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