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FCA’s first day

by David Zatz on

FCA is to appear on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time today, after name, exchange, and headquarters-country changes. Fiat Chrysler executives will ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), according to AP reporting, though the NYSE itself shows no evidence of this, nor any evidence of FCA stock itself.

Chrysler-Fiat-FCA-Web

As of 10:45 Eastern Time, FCAU was trading at $8.90, down $0.10 from its $9.00 opening. So far, it has traded in a range from $8.84 to $9.55. As the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 are all in the red this morning, it’s not really possible to say if the movement is a market comment on the FCA stock or just a reflection of the negative trend.

Fiat shares were converted to FCA shares, with a small number of large, long-term (three or more years) shareholders, most notably the Agnelli family, gaining additional voting rights. This latter move cemented the Agnellis’ control over the “new” Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which is essentially Fiat SpA renamed and moved, and gave them the power to turn back any threats from greenmailers.

According to statements from people close to Chrysler at the time, fear of a takeover by Kirk Kerkorian — which would include re-installing Lee Iacocca as chief executive —  pushed then-CEO Robert Eaton into giving Chrysler away to Daimler-Benz, in a “merger of equals” which very quickly turned into a blatant takeover, resulting in years of decay and decline for the former Chrysler Corporation. Within two years, the most profitable automaker in America was claiming to have hefty losses. Thus, the move to give long-term shareholders added voting rights both expands the ability of the Agnellis to resist outside pressure, and makes attempts at milking Chrysler less attractive to opportunistic billionaires.

Last week, the stock market plunged to lows not seen since 2012, with domestic auto stocks falling with the rest of the market. Analysts believe the market will do better today, and at the time of writing, indices had risen slightly.

FCA’s ringing of the bell at the New York Stock Exchange is scheduled for 4:15 pm. It will be shown on the NYSE.com site as well as on “FCALive” at LiveStream.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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