Gone are the “days of sin,” when cash was seen as the answer to everything at Chrysler, said CEO Sergio Marchionne, as he answered questions about the maker’s second-quarter loss and dodged others looking at the planned global consolidation of Chrysler and its Italian partner Fiat.
In a wide-ranging discussion, Marchionne made it clear his goal is to “extract value” from the combined Chrysler-Fiat organization by making them work more closely together. But he cautioned that he does “not want to screw up” Chrysler’s nascent revival – something that could readily happen if it lost focus on what it does best.
Marchionne downplayed concerns about Chrysler’s $181 million second-quarter loss – noting the maker went into the red because of a $551 million charge related to the recent payoff of its federal bailout loans. (Click Here for more on Chrysler’s earnings.)
“I think we have made great progress,” said the Canadian-educated executive. “We feel we are on target.”
In the coming days, Marchionne confirmed he will announce a global realignment that will consolidate key positions in the Chrysler/Fiat alliance, eliminating the current redundancy and creating a more streamlined enterprise that is “ultimately the best way to extract value” for shareholders. While he declined to provide specifics, the CEO suggested that the move “should show benefits quickly.”