Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU - Get Report) said Thursday, April 5, it is preparing to spin off Magneti Marelli, a part of its components unit that is thought to be worth between $4 billion and $6 billion.

The move doesn't spark quite the same conversation as a long-anticipated sale of Jeep, RAM Trucks or the whole of Fiat likely would have. But it does further demonstrate how the parts of Fiat Chrysler appear for all intents and purposes more valuable than the whole.

The company, which has long been thought of as the most likely takeover target among major automakers, has fallen well behind on autonomous and electrification initiatives that drive the world's dominant automotive companies today and has been unable to find a deal despite a clear desire to do so from top leadership.

Still, the separation of Magneti Marelli will help simplify the Italian-American automaker's portfolio, potentially making it an easier takeover target down the road.

Fiat Chrysler's shares on the NYSE were up almost 1.5% around 1 p.m. Thursday.

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