Something’s Going On With Fiat Chrysler

Something’s Going On With Fiat Chrysler

Michael Ballaban
Monday 10:06am
•Filed to: The Morning Shift

Good morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know.

1st Gear: Anybody Know What’s Going On?

Something’s afoot at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, though it’s a bit early to say what it is. We can take a guess, however.

And no, it’s not the wonder of literally some people buying an Alfa Romeo.

FCA head honcho Sergio Marchionne has been trying to sell the company for over a year now, seemingly to literally anyone who wants it. But last we heard, nobody wanted it. Sure, there was a Chinese buyer or two floated here and there, and Sergio talked up everybody from Volkswagen to General Motors as a possible buyer, both of which went nowhere.

And that’s where we left it. No buyer for FCA, and just a sad pipeline of Jeeps, the occasional SUV, and an increasingly desperate ploy to put 707-horsepower V8s into damn near everything (Alfa 4C Hellcat, anyone?).

But then, last week, something strange started happening with FCA’s share price:

Image: Google Finance

It started shooting up. And as the Detroit Free Press notes, that’s definitely weird:

FCA shares rose 5.4% Friday to close at a record high of $21.77. Since Tuesday, the stock has risen 22%. In each of the last three days, more trading volume has ranged between 10.6 million and 14.3 million shares, well above the average daily volume of 3.1 million.

By contrast, Ford and General Motors shares have gained 5.6% and 7.5%, respectively over that period, on light trading.?

It’s not like Chrysler has announced big moves in the last week, or released big plans to start churning out Tesla clones.

So what gives? It could be that rumors of an imminent FCA sale – or a piecing out, such as a sale of Jeep – could have something to them. We don’t know anything that would confirm such a rumor right now, but back in the days when I used to cover mergers and acquisitions, traders were always calling up to get an edge. And sometimes, they heard rumblings before the big news broke.

Of course, SEC rules state that the company has to release all relevant information to everyone all at the same time. So it could just be nothing.

Or it could be something.

We don’t know yet. If you do, hit us up at tips [at] jalopnik [dot] com.

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