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更新时间:2018-1-17 19:33:49 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Chinese Carmaker May Use Fiat Chrysler for Foothold in United States

DETROIT — For years, as China emerged as the world’s largest producer of automobiles, American car companies have wondered when a Chinese manufacturer would try to enter the United States market.


Now they have an answer: 2019.


At the Detroit auto show on Monday, officials of GAC Motor, based in Guangzhou, outlined a broad plan to build up its operations in the United States and begin selling a vehicle here next year, possibly in partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

在周一的底特律车展上,总部设在广州的广汽乘用车公司(GAC Motor)的高管介绍了公司在美国开展业务的广泛计划。该公司计划于明年开始在这里销售汽车,可能是通过与菲亚特克莱斯勒汽车公司(Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)合作的形式。

GAC also expects to open a development center in Michigan and a design center in Los Angeles in the first half of this year, the executives said. The company had already established a technology lab in Silicon Valley last year.


“We intend to gain a foothold in the U.S.,” Yu Jun, GAC Motor’s president, said at a news conference. “If we can make it in the U.S., we can make it anywhere and enhance further possibilities of future growth.”


GAC — which sold about 500,000 vehicles last year and markets several models under the name Trumpchi — is considering selling its car through dealerships tied to Fiat Chrysler. The two companies are already partners in China, where GAC manufactures Jeeps for the Italian-American automaker.


“In the first half of this year, we will establish a North American sales company that will be responsible for developing the dealership network,” Mr. Jun said. “We will explore all sorts of channels including partnering with F.C.A. as well as others.”


Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler’s chief executive, said his company was ready to assist GAC. “We are talking to them about how and if we can help if they come to the U.S.,” Mr. Marchionne told reporters at his own news conference earlier in the day.

菲亚特克莱斯勒首席执行官塞尔焦·马尔基翁内(Sergio Marchionne)表示,他的公司已经准备好为广汽提供帮助。“我们正在就如果他们来美国,我们如何帮助、是否能提供帮助等问题与他们展开讨论。”马尔基翁内当天早些时候在他召开的新闻发布会上对记者说。

The potential for cooperation in the United States is sure to fuel further speculation about whether the two companies will move toward an even closer alliance. Fiat Chrysler has been in discussions with a number of Chinese companies about potential equity investments, a prospect that took on greater significance after Mr. Marchionne tried and failed to persuade General Motors to consider merging with his company in 2015.

在美国进行合作的潜在可能,必定会引发关于这两家企业是否会走向更紧密联盟的进一步猜测。菲亚特克莱斯勒一直在与几家中国公司讨论可能的股权投资事宜;在马尔基翁内试图在2015年说服通用汽车(General Motors)公司考虑与他的公司合并未获成功后,这个问题的意义变得更为重大。

Mr. Marchionne has said he hopes to merge or partner with another automaker to improve Fiat Chrysler’s long-term prospects as technology and new global markets reshape the industry. While the company is profitable, it has not earned enough to make significant investments in the kind of technologies that appear crucial to the future of the industry, such as electric vehicles and self-driving cars.


Whether or not his company enters a partnership with GAC or another company, Mr. Marchionne will probably not be around to see if it pays off. During his news conference, he confirmed that this will be his last year running Fiat Chrysler. He began as the chief executive of Fiat in 2004 and under his direction the company took control of Chrysler just as it was undergoing a wrenching bankruptcy reorganization engineered by regulators in Washington in 2009.


Mr. Marchionne said his successor will be named sometime after March, when Fiat Chrysler expected to present a new business plan that will serve as a road map to guide the company’s operations through 2022. Two internal candidates, Richard Palmer, the chief financial officer, and Mike Manley, head of the highly profitable Jeep and Ram brands, are expected to be among the top contenders.

马尔基翁内表示,继任他的人选将在今年3月后公布,预计届时菲亚特克莱斯勒将展示一份新的商业计划,作为指导公司从现在起到2022年的经营路线图。人们预计最热门的竞争人选包括两名内部候选人,包括首席财务官理查德·帕尔默(Richard Palmer)以及非常赚钱的吉普(Jeep)和公羊(Ram)品牌的负责人迈克·曼利(Mike Manley)。

Mr. Marchionne said that Fiat Chrysler “has no intention” of breaking up the company and selling Jeep or Ram. “The answer is no,” he said.


But a partnership to sell GAC cars in the United States could make sense. Fiat Chrysler’s Dodge and Chrysler brands no longer offer small or mid-sized cars, having dropped them from their lineups in 2016. Dealers selling Fiat-brand small cars, meanwhile, are desperate for additional models to offer. Many Fiat dealers sell only a handful of new cars each month and do most of their business in a variety of used models.


“Fiat has limited potential in the U.S.,” Mr. Marchionne acknowledged.


Furthermore, Fiat Chrysler does not have an electric car in its lineup and Mr. Marchionne opposes the idea of investing the money to develop one.


“I don’t know of any organization making money on electric vehicles,” he said. Hybrids and electric cars together make up only 3 percent of all new cars sold in the United States, he noted. “That is not a good economic basis in which to do any type of investment.”


Some dealers, however, said they saw a need for Fiat Chrysler to get back into the mid-sized car segment and offer at least one electric model. “It may be a shrinking segment but I still have customers who want cars,” said Wesley Lutz, owner of Extreme Dodge in Jackson, Mich. “And it would be nice to at least have one hybrid and electric vehicle because you do have those green customers out there.”

但一些经销商表示,他们认为菲亚特克莱斯勒需要重新进入中型轿车市场,并推出至少一款电动汽车车型。“这也许是一个不断缩小的细分市场,但我仍有想买电动汽车的顾客,”密歇根州杰克逊的“极端道奇”(Extreme Dodge)经销商老板韦斯利·卢茨(Wesley Lutz)说。“至少有一款混合动力和电动汽车,那会好得多,因为确实有些环保客户想买这种车。”

The first model GAC plans to offer in the United States is sport-utility vehicle called the GS8. The engineering center that GAC plans to build in or near Detroit would help design two additional models that the company plans to introduce in America, Mr. Jun said.


Two models that GAC showed off in Detroit were making their only stateside appearance. A small car, called the GA4, and a concept for an all-electric S.U.V. called the Enverge that Mr. Jun said has a 370-mile range, do not figure in the company’s United States plans.