Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is considering options for its robotics arm Comau, including a potential sale valued at EUR1.5-2.0bn (US$1.7-2.3bn), people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

The strategic review of the unit is at an early stage and no final decisions have been made, the anonymous sources said.

A sale process could start early next year while the business, which makes automated manufacturing systems and industrial robots, could attract bidders from China.

Blooomberg said a sale early next year could be the second major deal under new CEO Mike Manley, who took over just days before the death of his predecessor Sergio Marchionne in July. The company in August agreed to sell components unit Magneti Marelli for EUR6.2bn.

A Fiat spokesman declined to comment to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg said sales of parts operations and other non-core businesses would allow Fiat to focus on building and selling cars at a time when trade tensions, falling car sales in China and clean air regulations are putting pressure on automakers and their suppliers.