Chrysler bankruptcy court to begin hearing on 27 May

The Chrysler reorganisation saga is entering a new stage next week with US bankruptcy judge Arthur Gonzalez beginning his hearing on May 27 to decide whether the carmaker's assets will be sold to Italian automaker Fiat.

Many of the dealers who are losing their dealership are expected to object during a May 27 hearing on the sale of Chrysler assets to the new company.

Gonzalez has already approved up to $4.96 billion in US and Canadian government funds for Chrysler to reorganise its functions and pay lawyers, financial advisers and some suppliers.

Meanwhile, the US Treasury has named C Robert Kidder, the former chairman of Borden Inc. and Skybus Airlines, as chairman of the new Chrysler. He will replace the present chairman and CEO, Robert Nardelli; but Kidder will take only the chairmanship.

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne will be the CEO of the new Chrysler.

Kidder is one of the four directors of Treasury's choice. Of the total nine directors to be selected, Fiat will select the remaining three, and a board representing a retiree health trust fund for UAW workers and the Canadian government will get one director each.