For the past couple of months, reports of Chinese automakers showing interest in buying portions of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Now, it's FCA seeking to strengthening ties in China by ramping up talks with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC).
GAC president Feng Xingya told reporters that both they and FCA are exploring ways to expand their cooperation. GAC has also been locally producing Jeep products in China on the behalf of FCA since 2010. The cars produced in China are the Cherokee, Compass and Renegade. It is also worth noting that GAC manufactures cars for Mitsubishi and Toyota, as well as having strong ties to Honda. FCA on the other hand, declined to comment on the matter.
With these talks, GAC also aims to enter the North American (NA) market before the decade ends. They believe that their ticket into the vital NA market is through FCA. Should it push through, it also allows FCA to further expand their product portfolio in their home market. GAC plans to introduce the Trumpchi brand to the United States by 2019. GAC is also aiming to build a factory over in the US and, eventually, manufacture on a global scale. Xingya said this is part of GAC's five-year plan.
Prior to this report, Great Wall expressed interest in buying Jeep from FCA. Given that GAC builds the said cars for the Italian-American automaker, along with talks of further strengthening ties, it is likely that the matter has been laid to rest.