Paying off Chrysler government loans will permit Fiat to gain a majority stake in the U.S. maker, but it will also help Chrysler shore up its bottom line, says Sergio Marchionne, the man managing both of the automakers.
Meanwhile, Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner says the Obama Administration wants to see both Chrysler and General Motors back in private hands as soon as possible, though he says the fast-improving fortunes of the two makers can be seen as a victory for the White House, which successfully battled to keep the carmakers alive.
Chrysler/Fiat Chairman Marchionne announced yesterday plans to pay off the remaining $7.5 billion owed to the U.S. and Canadian treasuries. According to the executive, there has been plenty of interest among private lenders to provide the necessary funds.
“There isn’t any doubt there is interest in the capital markets,” he said. “Since we outlined them in November (2009), we haven’t missed any of our commitments or forecasts,” Marchionne told reporters after touring the Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.