labels: M&A, Automobiles - general, Cars, Chrysler
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne thanks Obama for facilitating Chrysler deal news
31 March 2009

Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne has thanked US president Barack Obama for recognising Fiat's work over the past five years and putting pressure on Fiat management to ''finalise a sound alliance between Chrysler and Fiat.''

''We are firmly convinced that Fiat's environmentally conscious technologies and small and medium car platforms will play a key role in re-establishing a close rapport for the Chrysler brands with the American consumer,'' he said.

''Our alliance will not only make Chrysler a stronger company financially, but it will also help preserve American jobs, significantly accelerate Chrysler's efforts to produce fuel efficient vehicles, and lead to a more rapid repayment of US taxpayer dollars,'' he added.

According to the New York Times Monday reports, for the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based Chrysler to qualify for additional loans from

The US government had insisted that Chrysler strike a deal with Italian auto major Fiat SpA by 30 April to be eligible to receive government support.

As per the terms of the alliance, Fiat would receive a 35 per cent stake in Chrysler, but would provide no cash infusion.

In case Chrysler, the third largest automaker, fails to materialise the projected pact with Fiat by the set deadline, it would receive no more aid from the government, because the Obama administration would not consider it a viable stand-alone company.

However, with Chrysler having said that the proposed Fiat deal could be worth nearly $10 billion, if the alliance comes through, the US administration would give another $6 billion loan to the distraught Chrysler, which reportedly needs another $5 billion over and above the $4 billion it received in December.

The engagement with the President's Automotive Task Force has been tough but fair, and we believe we will arrive at a result that will establish a credible future for this crucial industrial sector and that assigns the right priority to the repayment of US taxpayers' funds, Marchionne said.

''We are delighted that Fiat can play a key role in this important endeavour,'' he added.

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Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne thanks Obama for facilitating Chrysler deal