For the first time in nearly five years, Chrysler Group posted a quarterly profit as the company’s improbable comeback continued to pick up momentum.
Chrysler earned $116 million for the first quarter, reversing the $197 million loss posted during the first quarter of 2010, as the company’s revenue grew by 35% to $13.1 billion in the first three months of 2011.
The latest number mark a potentially significant reversal of fortune for a company that hasn’t made money since former partner Daimler AG effectively dumped the U.S. arm on financial equity giant Cerberus Capital Management. Failing to reverse course, Cerberus agreed to put Chrysler into bankruptcy protection in 2009, the automaker emerging under the control of Italy’s Fiat SpA.
The first-quarter turnaround “shows we’re on the right path,” Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of both automakers, said during a media conference call. “We’re now in an exceptionally solid financial position. It’s been a good quarter and a good operating performance.”
Marchionne separately noted, “We remain focused on delivering great products to our customers and continuing to achieve the sales and financial targets outlined in our 2010-2014 business plan.”