There is something interesting afoot in the auto industry.
According to multiple reports from credible sources, Chinese automakers have expressed interest in acquiring FCA, otherwise known as Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles. The many reports indicate that a variety of automotive corporations are interested in purchasing FCA; some sources say Dongfeng, others say it's Great Wall, some reports cite Geely, though the most likely company is Guangzhou Automobile Group. Guangzhou is already FCA's joint-venture partner in the People's Republic of China.
Chinese automakers and companies have been acquiring foreign automotive companies of late. SAIC acquired British automaker MG, and migrated all production to China. Geely acquired Swedish automaker Volvo for $1.3 billion in 2010, and also acquired the London Taxi Company that manufactures the iconic black cabs that ply London's streets.
China National Chemical Corporation acquired Italian performance tire manufacturer Pirelli for $7.6 billion. Most recently, Geely made headlines again when they made another acquisition, this time 49% of Malaysian automaker Proton from DRB-HICOM. interestingly, the deal also included 51% of British performance car manufacturer Lotus as DRB-HICOM also owned Lotus.
The wave of acquisitions is reportedly a result of Chinese government pressure to aquire foreign brands, a government initiative called “China Outbound”.
Fiat-Chrysler is a very big automobile company led by Sergio Marchionne. Fiat, Chrysler, Lancia, Dodge, Jeep, SRT, Maserati, Ram Trucks, Alfa Romeo and Abarth are all under FCA's banner. They also control subsidiaries such as Magnetti-Marelli (brakes), Comau, Mopar, and Teksid. Ferrari is no longer technically under the group, though Sergio Marchionne is still CEO.
FCA's footprint represents a significant market in Europe and in North America; markets that China are eager to tap.
If a deal is inked to buy FCA, it will represent one of the biggest -if not the biggest- sale of an automotive company to a Chinese car company.