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DCX to launch $13 billion auction of Chrysler; Hyundai not interested

by Nick Aziz

U.S. investment bank JPMorgan is making final preparations before starting an auction of the Chrysler Group on behalf of DaimlerChrysler, according to a report by the U.K.'s Times. The news follows a shocking report from last week suggesting General Motors might be considering buying Chrysler.

While reports of a possible Daimler-Chrysler de-merger were met with much skepticism in the auto industry, rumors continue to swirl, with no official denials coming from GM or DaimlerChrysler. Typically, automakers issue statements to the press rejecting rumors of this magnitude, if they are false.

The Times report also indicated Korean automaker Hyundai might be interested in buying the group. Hyundai swiftly issued a statement saying its "hands are full" and it has no intention of buying the American company.

Currently, General Motors is the only party known to be in talks with DaimlerChrysler about an acquisition. GM is said to have particular interest in Jeep and Dodge, but would consider buying the whole group if necessary.

Such a deal would result in a close integration of the Chrysler Group into the GM family, with overlapping products being axed, possible rebreeding, and the pairing of compatible brands like Jeep and Hummer.

JPMorgan will reportedly send information memorandums to a number of potential suitors as soon as the end of this week. If sold, the Chrysler Group would likely go for $13 billion, the report said.