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Chrysler Wants IPO Ready by Year-End

“That horse left the barn,” says CEO Marchionne.

by on Oct.30, 2013

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne at an awards ceremony for suppliers.

After repeatedly delaying plans for a public stock offering and then suggesting Fiat might sever its ties with Chrysler if it went ahead with an IPO, the CEO of the two automakers now says he’s ready to put the process into overdrive.

“That horse left the barn,” Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne told reporters and analysts during a news conference called to discuss the maker’s third-quarter earnings. “We are now bent on executing the IPO.  I hope that we can get it done by the end of this year.”

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Fiat initially acquired a 20% stake in the U.S. maker following Chrysler’s emergence from bankruptcy in mid-2009.  Through a series of steps it has increased its holdings to 58.5%, and Marchionne has repeatedly expressed Fiat’s interest in acquiring the remaining 41.5% held by a union retiree health care trust. But the two sides are battling over the worth of the United Auto Workers Union’s holdings in a Delaware court and the union is now pressing to let the market set the price with an IPO.


Chrysler Net Income Surges 22%

Strong truck sales drive results – but mask other problems.

by on Oct.30, 2013

Strong demand for the Ram pickup -- the 2014 diesel model shown here -- buoyed Chrysler's Q3 earnings.

The resurgent boom in pickup sales was good news for the Chrysler Group which saw net income surge by 22% during the third quarter, in sharp contrast to the declines posted by both of the maker’s cross-town rivals.

Chrysler earned $464 million during the July to September period, up from $381 million the year before, marking the once-bankrupt automaker’s nine consecutive quarterly profit. Revenues, meanwhile, jumped 13.5%, to $17.6 billion, on the sale of 603,000 vehicles. That was an increase of 8% from a year ago.

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But barely one in seven of Chrysler’s products – 82,000 in all — were sold outside North America, in sharp contrast to the results at General Motors and Ford Motor Co., who now depend on overseas markets for the majority of their demand and an increasing share of their revenues. And there are other challenges revealed by Chrysler’s latest earnings report.


Donald Trump Rebuked After False Jeep Claims

Senior Chrysler VP offers unfiltered response.

by on Nov.02, 2012

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet. Donald Trump repeats discredited Jeep China claims.

Days after Chrysler and General Motors rebuked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for incorrectly claiming they were transferring production – and jobs – from the U.S. to China, professional limelight seeker Donald Trump jumped into the fray.

The self-declared mega-millionaire ignored evidence to repeat claims about Chrysler, in particular, that had been used by the Romney campaign in an effort to win crucial votes in the swing state of Ohio, Trump tweeting that Pres. Barack Obama, “is a terrible negotiator. He bails out Chrysler and now Chrysler wants to send all Jeep manufacturing to China — and will!”

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In an unvarnished reply, Chrysler Vice President Ralph Gilles, the maker’s head of design and director of its SRT division, shot back, “You are full of shit.”

Gilles followed with a second Tweet, “I apologize for my language, but lies are just that, lies.”


New Fiat 500 Helping Chrysler Ramp Up Exports

Jeeps by the boatload bound for China.

by on Jan.28, 2011

Laura Soave, head of the Fiat brand in North America, stands with the new 500 minicar.

In a move that underscores the complexity of the global auto industry,  the new Fiat 500 being launched in North America will also debut on a wider, global stage as the Chrysler Group assembly plant in Toluca, Mexico ramps up production later this year.

The facility will help Chrysler’s Italian affiliate, Fiat, deliver on its promise of boosting worldwide exports which, in turn, will allow Fiat to gain a larger stake in the U.S. maker.

During a conversation in San Diego, this week, Chrysler officials confirmed the Mexican made Fiat will not only be sold in North America but also exported to a range of markets as far-flung as Brazil and China by the end of 2011.

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The Brazil-bound 500 will be equipped with a special engine that can run on 100% ethanol or ethanol –gasoline blends, according to a senior Chrysler engineer.  Chrysler officials have until recently been reluctant to discuss the wider plans for the 500, which is scheduled to go on sale next month, as the Fiat brand returns to the U.S. for the first time in nearly 30 years.