Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) might be flogging off the Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands in a bid to better handle its debt, which currently stands at almost US$7 billion (RM31.4 billion) at the end of the third quarter of 2016. Industry analysts believe that FCA is smart to focus on crossovers and SUVs, though that alone might not be enough to rectify the situation.

The group saw a net income of $634 million (RM2.84 billion) in Q3 2016, compared to a net loss of $352 million (RM1.58 billion) in the same period last year, while subsidiary Maserati made $108 million (RM484 million) compared to $12 million (RM53.82 million) last year, following the launch of the Levante SUV.

Investment researcher Evercore ISI said that CEO of FCA Sergio Marchionne is probably the one of the auto industry’s most concerned with shareholder value. “While Marchionne has not always delivered, we believe he genuinely cares more about the equity holder than other CEOs in the business,” Evercore ISI analyst George Galliers said in a Forbes report.

From a downward drift between April and September, FCA’s share prices have risen to its present level of around 9 euros (RM42.51), in light of a transmission-related recall for a potentially confusing gear selector which led to cases of drivers exiting the vehicle whilst still engaged in the ‘Drive’ position.

Hopes of a boost from the Trump administration bolstered FCA stock, too, as the group makes most of its profit from SUVs and pick-up trucks in North America. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley indicates value in the Jeep subsidiary, while Berenberg Bank adds supplier Magneti Marelli to Maserati and Alfa Romeo as candidates for sale.