Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) extended gains during early trading in Milan Wednesday as investors responded to ongoing speculation that the Italian-American company could be on the verge of a deal to sell itself to a Chinese buyer.

The shares were up more than 4% to an intraday high of €11.13, outpacing the 1.02% gain of Stoxx Europe 600 TMI Auto & Parts index, and extending their year-to-date gain to more than 26%.

Price action in Milan came on the heels of an Italian public holiday Tuesday and what were solid gains during that session for the company's American Depositary Receipt shares in New York. 

Trade publication Automotive News reported Monday that the company has received at least one offer from a Chinese auto firm that was "at a small premium" to its current market price but that it was rejected for being too low. 

Fiat has effectively been up for sale for at least the last two years. CEO Sergio Marchionne, who sees Fiat-Chrysler as lacking scale, has frequently been cited as a key driver behind the company's push to sell itself.

Marchionne tried previously to have the company merged with GM (GM) but he and Fiat were knocked back by their larger rival. 

Also on Wednesday, Fiat said it has signed an agreement with BMW (BMWYY) and Mobileye (MBLY) , an Intel (INTC) company, to become part of their joint venture to develop an autonomous driving platform. 

"In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers," Marchionne said in a statement. 

The company gave few details of "the platform" but did say it would be open for multiple automakers to use all around the world. 

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