Based on the sources, this could be for real.
Since 2014 Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has been trying to court other automakers, specifically GM, into a merger acquisition. Marchionne’s desire to merge stems, at least in part, from FCA’s only so-so initial public offering in 2014. But GM refused the offer and Marchionne publically denied making similar gestures to Volkswagen in 2014 and 2017. Last August, word got out that Chinese automaker Great Wall was seriously considering to buy Jeep, but nothing, at least so far, has happened.
But now, Car and Driver, via Asia Times, is reporting that Hyundai is reportedly holding talks with FCA regarding a potential sale. Marchionne is scheduled to retire in April 2019, so a sale such as this could be his departing gift of sorts. Turns out that activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which has invested more than $1 billion in Hyundai, Kia, and Hyundai’s part’s division Mobis, is also pushing for the deal. Hyundai and FCA previously held talks last December about the potential to co-develop hydrogen fuel-cell powertrains and transmissions, but Marchionne said this was a technical partnership and nothing more.
Unnamed sources told Asia Times that Hyundai is waiting for FCA shares to drop before it attempts to launch a takeover bid beginning this summer. Both Hyundai and FCA have so far declined to comment on any potential merger, but considering the reliability of both of these sources and the facts on the ground, it sure does sound like something is about to happen.