Stellantis NV’s attempt to increase control over its struggling Jeep joint venture in China has seen pushback from its local partner who says they only found out about the plan via Stellantis’ website, reports Bloomberg. Stellantis, formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group, said Thursday it plans to increase its shareholding in the venture with state-owned Guangzhou Automobile Group to 75% from 50%.
“GAC Group learned from the official website of Stellantis about its announcement on the equity adjustment,” of the venture, the Chinese company responded in a statement. “This announcement is not approved by us, and GAC Group deeply regrets it.”
Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares has for months been promising investors he’d improve the carmaker’s dismal performance in China, and the shareholding change is key to his reboot. Stellantis is preparing to promote brands including Jeep and DS in the country and push an electric Opel model.
Stellantis announced the plan before it was approved by Chinese authorities. GAC said it would “strictly abide by national policies and regulations” and promote the venture “in accordance with the principles of mutual trust and win-win results.”