Chrysler, old people with large cars
Smart mouth Marchionne had better come up with some cars people need and want beside the guzzling also-rans. Criticizing the bailout that kept the company in business, and not liking the interest rates is his business prerogative, but as an American who once before bailed out this pig, I am not thrilled to be doing it again.
“Chrysler CEO Apologizes For Bailout Remark
Manufacturing.Net - February 07, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Chrysler's CEO apologized Saturday for the way he described the interest rates the U.S. and Canadian governments are charging on the bailouts his company received in 2008 and 2009.
Sergio Marchionne, speaking Friday during an automotive conference in San Francisco, called the interest rates a "thorn" in his side and said that refinancing the two loans would mean no longer having to explain the "shyster rates."
In a statement posted at the center of Chrysler's home page Saturday, Marchionne said he regrets a term he used and considers it "inappropriate."
"Yesterday, in responding to a question about Chrysler's government loans, I used a term in reference to the interest rate being charged on our government loans that has raised concern," Marchionne's statement said. "I regret the remark, which I consider inappropriate."
Marchionne said Chrysler remains grateful for the bailouts and noted that no other parties were willing to assist in Chrysler's recovery.
"The two governments levied interest rates that, although appropriate at the time, are above current market conditions," he continued. "This was done with the full support and understanding of the members of Chrysler Group LLC."
Chrysler hopes to reach a deal with banks by the end of March to refinance the loans, which carry rates of 11 to 12 percent. It owes the U.S. government $5.8 billion and the Canadian government $1.3 billion.
The two governments also took ownership stakes in Chrysler when it came out of bankruptcy protection in June 2009. The U.S. stake is now at 9 percent while the Canadian stake stands at 2 percent.
The governments hope to be repaid for those investments when Chrysler's stock is sold to the public. It hasn't been traded as a separate company since it was taken over by German automaker Daimler in 1998.
The term "shyster," probably derived from German, usually refers to an unscrupulous or unethical person, according to Webster's II New College Dictionary.”
“Can Chrysler's New Line Play on the Coasts?
By Phil LeBeau, CNBC Correspondent
NEW YORK (CNBC) -- Shortly after Chrysler ran its 2:00 commercial in the Super Bowl, Twitter and Facebook lit up with applause for the American automaker. There was no shortage of people praising the spot featuring images of Detroit, its famed native son Eminem, and a new Chrysler tag line, "Imported from Detroit." Many from Michigan, from former Governor Jennifer Granholm to filmmaker Michael Moore, gave the spot a collective "Bravo!!!!"
As someone who spends a lot of time in Michigan and Detroit, I understand their sense of pride. After all, Chrysler said what many in Motown have felt for a long time: We're coming back and will be better than ever.
It's the kind of bravado the city and automaker have lacked for years. The Detroit area has been reeling by the body blow of the Big Three closing plants and cutting thousands of jobs. For Chrysler, it survived despite many in Washington who wanted to let it die.
But at the end of the day it comes down to this: Will Chrysler's new tag line and its refreshed lineup connect with car, truck and SUV buyers? It absolutely will in the Midwest, where it has a deep and loyal customer base. The folks here in the heartland empathize with what Detroit has gone through, and if Chrysler makes a better car or truck (which it absolutely is doing under the leadership of CEO Sergio Marchionne), then they'll give it a shot.
But on the east and west coasts, it will be a tougher sell. The foreign brands have been strongest there for years, but now the Big Three are finally gaining market share on the coasts. Still, the tag line "Imported from Detroit" may struggle to matter in California or Florida or New Jersey.”