As Chinese automakers look to break into the U.S. market, we've been hearing about how companies in China are courting FCA. After GM and Volkswagen each shut the possibility of a merger, an unnamed Chinese company stepped up to the table. Its offer to buy FCA was refused, but the suitors are still knocking. Now, Automotive News reports that Chinese automaker Great Wall is interested in making a deal specifically to purchase the Jeep brand.

Great Wall President Wang Fengying told Automotive News in an email that her company is "connecting with FCA" to start the negotiation process. FCA, though, told the publication that it hasn't been approached by Great Wall. Great Wall's offer, if accepted, would separate Jeep ­— FCA's most valuable brand ­— from the rest of the FCA portfolio.

It's not unthinkable that FCA would consider selling Jeep on its own. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has said he'd consider spinning off Jeep and Ram. The company also said it could see making Maserati and Alfa Romeo into a separate company as well. Jeep, though, might be worth more on its own that the entirety of FCA with Jeep included, according to Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas. This complicates the matter for any potential buyer that owns FCA franchise dealerships, and for FCA, for which Jeep is an attractor for selling the company as a whole.

Great Wall, which only generates $14.7 billion in annual revenue (compared to FCA's $131 billion), is confident it could raise the funds to buy Jeep. As Automotive News points out, though, there could be a bidding war brewing if Jeep can be bought separately from the rest of the brands.

Still, As Great Wall spokesman Xu Hui said, the company has been following Jeep, and sees it as a key to achieving its goal of becoming "the world's largest SUV maker." Great Wall already has research and development facilities in Detroit and Los Angeles. The Chinese company is also considering building a factory in the U.S. rather than in Mexico. Whether or not Great Wall acquires Jeep, it wants to sell SUVs in the U.S., and having a factory in the States means it wouldn't have to worry about Trump renegotiating NAFTA.

Jeep is currently expanding its market presence, and has new vehicles, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, on the way in 2019.

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