Despite an air of crisis hanging over the Korean Peninsula, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.’s ongoing search for a partner or buyer has apparently migrated from China to South Korea, according to the South Korean press.
Rumors Hyundai Motor was looking to acquire the world’s seventh-largest auto manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles first surfaced in late August shortly after FCA’s flirtation with Chinese automakers appeared to falter.
However, the rumors have taken on new life this week with lengthy articles in the South Korean press and speculation by analysts in Seoul that a deal for FCA could be in the offing.
A Hyundai-FCA merger would make the South Korean automaker the world’s largest automaker, noted one local analyst told the Korean Analyst, leaping over rivals such as Toyota, Volkswagen and Nissan.
(No deal for FCA, Marchionne says. To see potential buyers, Click Here.)
Lee Jae-il, an analyst in charge of automobiles at Eugene Investment & Securities, said in a report that Hyundai Motor would benefit from the acquisition due to an expanded portfolio and high consumer awareness of FCA brands in the U.S. and Europe.
The merger would launch Hyundai’s into the position as the world’s leading automaker by sales based on the performance of the Korean auto company and the FCA, which sold a combined 11.5 million units last year, he said.
Hyundai is denying the merger, but the need to acquire a company is higher than ever due to the crisis in the Chinese and U.S. markets. The acquisition would not only increase sales, it would help Hyundai fill its glaring hole when it comes to SUVs and trucks.
(Great Wall may not seek Jeep takeover after all. For the story, Click Here.)
“The possibility of Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors acquiring Jeep has been suggested, and Hyundai Motor has also surfaced as a possible buyer,” he added.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. hasn’t received any kind of offer for the company from firms in China or any other company, FCA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne told reporters as he observed the Italian Formula One Grand Prix.
(To see why analysts think FCA’s various assets could be sold, Click Here.)
Marchionne added that he remains focused on executing the carmaker’s business plan to 2018. Fiat’s share price jumped to record highs last month after reports of interest for the group or some of its brands from China.