Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chrysler Fiat Merger: Fiat races to review Chrysler operations

February 3, 2009 11:00 CET
(Reuters) -- Italian carmaker Fiat is racing to review the operations of Chrysler LLC before Chrysler must meet a U.S. government deadline in two weeks, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne told the Wall Street Journal.

Under the terms of the $4 billion in federal loans Chrysler has received, it must present a plan by Feb. 17 showing how it intends to be viable.

Fiat plans to take a 35 percent stake in Chrysler in a deal that will give the Italian carmaker the scale it needs to survive, while Chrysler can expand its product portfolio to include small, less-polluting cars.

Marchionne said Fiat is still analyzing Chrysler's vehicle production operations and then will turn to studying its finances, the newspaper said.

Marchionne reiterated that Fiat will not put any cash into Chrysler but will provide small cars and fuel-efficient engines that would cost Chrysler $3 billion or more to develop.

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