2017 Jeep Wrangler grill

Chinese Automaker Confirms Interest In Buying Jeep

Jeep denied the rumors swirling on Monday after Great Wall Motor Company confirmed ‘an intention to acquire’ the American off-road icon.

2017 Jeep Wrangler grill

Shares of Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA) jumped yesterday. Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor Co. wants to bid for the company’s flagship model, Jeep.

In an email to Automotive News, Great Wall president Wang Fengying said her company was “connecting with FCA” with intent to take over the Jeep brand. According to the report, Great Wall’s interest is specifically in Jeep. Questions remained for the potential fate of FCA’s other makes, Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, and Ram.

Rumors intensified after follow-up statements confirmed Fengying’s email.

“We currently have an intention to acquire,” one Great Wall official told Reuters regarding FCA. And Great Wall Spokesperson Xu Hui reaffirmed the brand’s intent:

“Our strategic goal is to become the world’s largest SUV maker,” Hui told Automotive News. “Acquiring Jeep, a global SUV brand, would enable us to achieve our goal sooner and better.”

Jeep: All-American

old-army-jeep

A spokesperson for FCA attempted to squash the rumors of a Chinese bid in an interview with Financial Times.

“[FCA] has not been approached by Great Wall Motors in connection with the Jeep brand or any other matter relating to its business.”

News of the buyout comes just a month after Cars.com crowned Jeep “The Most American” vehicle on the road. According to the ranking, Jeep has more domestic parts and supports more American jobs than any other vehicle.

jeep profile on road
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American workers, U.S. steel, and good old' greenbacks, Cars.com's American-Made Index sifts through tons of data to crown 'The Most American' vehicle on the road. Read more…

Great Wall’s interest in Jeep specifically is understandable. Morgan Stanley valued the Jeep brand alone at $24 billion. That’s more than $4.5 billion higher than FCA as a whole.

Further fueling speculation is FCA’s own CEO, Sergio Marchionne, who has expressed an interest in a merger at some point before retiring in 2019.

The future of Jeep is unclear. But given the brand’s value, it seems unlikely a buyout would significantly change the American icon—at least on the surface.

Adam Ruggiero
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Adam Ruggiero is the Editor In Chief of GearJunkie.

Adam has been covering daily news and writing about cycling, camping, hiking, and gear of all kinds for 15+ years. Prior to that, Adam lived in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, at which time he realized he’d never have a “normal job.” His pastimes — farming, bike racing, and fitness — provided a gateway to all manner of physical challenges and recreation outdoors.

Based in Kansas City, MO, Adam tests as much gear as he can get his hands, feet (and dog) into each and every day. As editor in chief, he works to maintain GearJunkie’s voice, style, and commitment to accurate and expert reporting across every category.