Chrysler still viable, says V. Ch. Jim Press
Despite the doom and gloom sounded by ratings agencies and Southern Senators, Chrysler is preparing to ride out the worst the economy can throw at it, and will be able turn a reasonable profit even in a long recession, the automaker’s vice chairman told reporters during a Tuesday “roundtable.”
The sharp cuts Chrysler has made since it was taken over by Cerberus Capital Management, in 2007 have repositioned the automaker to survive even an extended downturn in the U.S. market, asserted Jim Press, the troubled automaker’s second-in-command.
“We feel we’re on a firm footing, financially,” proclaimed Press, prior to beginning the last of eight meetings Chrysler has held with dealers from across the U.S.
According to the plan Chrysler submitted to the federal government to justify a bailout, the U.S. market will slip by as much as 2 million units, this year, to a total sales volume of just 11.1 million, and could hold at that dismal level “for a couple years, and maybe as much as four years, going up to 13 million”,” when the market finally starts to recover. And, if anything, added Press, a worst-case scenario could see sales slip as low as 10 million.
Even at that level, Chrysler claimed, “We were still viable. We were still okay,” according to Press.