Shares of CIIG Merger ( CIIC ) jumped 31.8% in December, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) announced in November that it will merge with Arrival, a U.K.-based maker of electric buses and commercial vans.
The story here is pretty simple: CIIG's stock did well in December thanks mostly to the intense investor interest in everything having to do with electric vehicles. Its largest gain came early in the month, on a spike following the publication of an interview with CEO Avinash Rugoobur.
Looking a bit deeper, it's the company's manufacturing plan that could make Arrival particularly interesting to auto investors. Rather than building a traditional automotive plant, which can take over a year and cost $1 billion or more, Arrival plans to build its vehicles in "microfactories" that can be up and running in roughly six months at a cost of $50 million each. The idea is that it can add new microfactories as needed, purchasing more manufacturing capacity in small increments as its sales grow.
Arrival plans to begin with two microfactories, one in the U.K. and one in South Carolina. The company plans to begin production of its buses in the fourth quarter of this year, with two commercial vans following in the second half of 2022.
CIIG's merger with Arrival is expected to close by the end of March. The merged company, to be called Arrival Group, will trade on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "ARVL".