Saturday, February 21, 2015

Taking Stock of FIAT and Ferrari

You might already know that FIAT now owns Chrysler, and the company name is officially Fiat-Chrysler-Automobiles. Like most major auto makers, they are a publicly held company, which means that anyone (anyone with money that is), can buy shares of their stock.  While NMS is not in the financial business, we are in the business of liking cars and anything car related, so today here's one non-experts opinion on FIAT stock.

Owning a share of FIAT stock means that you are a part owner in not just FIAT and Chrysler, but all their other brands. To review, here are the car brands that belong to FIAT:

  • Alfa Romeo
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • FIAT
  • Ferrari
  • Jeep
  • Lancia
  • Maserati
  • Ram

With that many makes, I'd say they pretty much have everything covered from cheaper cars (FIAT)  to trucks (RAM), SUVs (Jeep), and on up to expensive luxury brand cars (rhymes with Alfa, Ferrari, Maserati). Later this year we will see a Maserati SUV built in Italy, so that just about covers everything. The president of Italy was visiting the factory in Turin this week, so that's probably a good thing too! Maybe he gets a discount!

Of course the reason FIAT controls the Chrysler brands was because when the world's economy had a bad hair day for a few years starting back in 2008, Chrysler was about to go belly up and was available fairly cheaply.  As a result of the merger, we now have Jeeps being built in Italy, various vehicles being designed on the same platform in different countries even though they end up wearing different brands, and in the long run that's one way auto makers cut costs but offer more products.  Another example is the engine built in Detroit that powers my FIAT, which was designed in Italy and built in Mexico for the US market.  Put another way, FIAT didn't really have much in the way of SUVs and trucks, so now they have Jeep and Ram.  Add to that the fact that Chrysler wasn't selling many small cars,  So now we have FCA that is able to share costs in an effort to help the bottom line.

Fun Fact of the Day: FIAT plans to split Ferrari off as a separate company later this year, and when that happens, we can all go out and buy some Ferrari stock. The only sure thing about this is that a share of Ferrari stock will cost about a bazillion dollars less than a new Ferrari automobile!

Extra Extra Fun Fact of the Day:  If you own FIAT stock now, those shares will be split later this year and the plan calls for every current share of FIAT to be turned into one share of FIAT plus one share of Ferrari!  It's better than 2 for 1 Cheerios at the grocery! Like buying a FIAT and getting a Ferrari!!!

DISCLOSURE: I bought a few shares of FIAT just to get some Ferrari stock, so don't blame me if the stock market has a bad hair day again in the future. On the other hand, maybe the Ferrari stock holders annual meeting will take place in Italy.  I hear they have good Italian food there, but they just call it "food". 

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