Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor Co. told Automotive News it is interested in buying the Jeep brand and has reached out to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to see whether a deal can be negotiated.
The move would slice Jeep from the rest of FCA's brands, leaving question marks over the future of Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram. FCA already said it would consider splitting Alfa Romeo and Maserati into their own company.
Great Wall President Wang Fengying, listed by Fortune as the seventh most powerful woman in Asia, wrote in an email to Automotive News that Great Wall intends to buy Jeep and is "connecting with FCA" to begin negotiations.
FCA said on Monday in a statement that it had not been approached by Great Wall in connection with the Jeep brand or any other matter relating to its business.
Fiat Chrysler shares opened at $13.12 (all figures in this story in USD) and rose as high as $13.25, before trading around $13.18 a share, up 61 cents or nearly five per cent, at 10 am ET on the New York Stock Exchange Monday.
It is not surprising Great Wall wants Jeep only. Analysts say Jeep is unquestionably the most valuable part of FCA's portfolio and theoretically worth more on its own than the automaker as a whole.