Chinese carmaker Great Wall has expressed interest in buying Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the company said on Monday.
A spokesman for the Chinese group told the Financial Times: “We have always had the interest and intention to acquire FCA.”
FCA, which also owns the Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, has been searching for a buyer in order to cut development costs of electric and self-driving cars.
Chief executive Sergio Marchionne, who is due to retire in 2019, has previously made unsuccessful overtures to General Motors and Volkswagen Group about buying the company.
But seeking to sell one of the three major US carmakers to a Chinese buyer with Donald Trump in the White House would present something of a political hurdle.
FCA declined to comment. The shares climbed 3 per cent on Monday in Italy trading.
FCA already makes some Jeep models in China itself, under its partnership with local producer Guangzhou Automobile. Under China’s rules, international carmakers are required to form joint ventures with domestic producers.