Great Wall has yet to formally declare its interest in Jeep, but a possible acquisition would be in line with Chairman Wang Jianjun's goal, announced in February, of becoming the top specialty SUV producer by 2020.
Great Wall "has this intention," said the public relations director for its Haval SUV brand, Zhao Lijia, when asked about a report by Automotive News that the Chinese automaker wants to buy Jeep.
Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne has said the company is for sale and cannot compete globally without a tie-up to a bigger partner due to the high costs of developing and marketing vehicles.
Great Wall Motors Ltd., headquartered in Baoding, southwest of Beijing, is one of a series of independent Chinese automakers that have grown up alongside state-owned giants such as Shanghai Automotive Industries.
If it goes ahead with a Jeep bid, Great Wall could become the second Chinese automaker, after Geely Holding Group, to expand onto the global stage by acquiring an established foreign brand.
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