Stellantis N.V. announced it will take the opportunity of an opening in China’s shareholding regulations to increase its stake in the GAC-Stellantis joint venture to 75%. The automaker added that the larger stake is part of its plan to re-set its business program in China.
Stellantis also agreed to collaborate with Guangzhou Automobile Group to formalize the deal, which remains subject to the approval of the Chinese government.
Chinese regulations recently have changed to allow foreign automakers to own more than 50% in their local joint ventures, as of 2022, apparently in a strategy to increase foreign investment. Volkswagen AG recently raised its stake to 75% in a joint venture with JAC Motors.
GAC-Stellantis was formed in March 2010 by China Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd. (GAC Group) and predecessor firm Fiat Chrysler Automotive. Initially it produced Fiat brand vehicles in China, including powertrain production and vehicle assembly. Later, it was expanded to include Chrysler vehicles, and in its current announcement Stellantis stated it will continue to cooperate with GAC Group to develop the potential for Jeep vehicles in China.
According to a statement released by GAC there is no formal agreement on the change in ownership structure for the joint venture, and it criticized Stellantis for announcing the change. "The way it was released was not approved by us and GAC Group deeply regrets it," GAC stated.
Last fall Stellantis said it wanted to simplify the joint-venture in order to develop a more efficient “Stellantis Jeep” brand in China.
Additional details on Stellantis’ plan for the Chinese market will be announced within the global strategic plan on March 1, 2022.