Last month, it was reported that Chinese car manufacturers were interesting in buying a significant portion of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Since then, Dongfeng and Geely have denied the initial reports but now, a new manufacturer may be considering to buy the Italian-American automaker. Stepping up to the plate is Hyundai, South Korea's largest car manufacturer.
The South Korean press have reported that the two manufacturers are having discussions.The country's industry analysts meanwhile suggested that Hyundai and FCA are in talks regarding a possible merger. FCA declined to comment surrounding the matter while Hyundai denied the reports of the press. Anaylsts however have said that the aqcuisition will greatly benefit both companies.
FCA has long been looking for a partner to further develop plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles (EVs). Developing these alternative powered vehicles is an expensive endeavor and the company is seeking to share costs with other manufacturers. FCA CEO Sergio Marcionne approached General Motors CEO Mary Barra for plans to merge with North America's largest automaker. Barra has since rebuffed Marchionne's proposal repeatedly. As it stands, the only hybrid FCA has to offer is the Pacifica Hybrid.
Hyundai on the other hand has been making progress in the field of hybrids, and more recently, in EVs. The Korean automaker first developed an electric car back in 1991 and their first series production hybrid was released in 2008 with the Sonata Hybrid. From there, Hyundai, along with Kia, have expanded their respective hybrid ranges. Hyundai also produces the Ioniq Electric, their first pure EV. Should Hyundai give FCA a helping hand, the latter is likely to get a significant boost in research and development for hybrids and EVs. At the same time, it will help Hyundai in terms of sales and production volume.
If the reports are verified, Hyundai will be on track to become one of the world's top three automakers in sales and production. As of the first half of 2017, Hyundai-Kia sat in fifth, behind Renault-Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors.
Source: The Detroit Bureau