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Monday, June 15, 2009

Chrysler Group

Chrysler Group has emerged from bankruptcy protection as the "New Chrysler" with FIAT owning a 20% stake (with an option to increase to 35% and later 51% if certain financial and operational targets are met).

At the helm is CEO of FIAT, Sergio Marchionne, a dual Italian and Canadian citizen.

The future for Chrysler was bleak to say the least, but this is a good start considering Marchionne helped turn around FIAT. In 2004 FIAT was losing money but under Marchionne began turning a profit in 2005 and has since grown in profitability and revenue. Additionally, while other automakers were shedding jobs, FIAT increased total employees by over 20% from 2004 to 2008.

What's interesting is that Marchionne, prior to FIAT, had no automotive experience. However, he has worked as a chartered accountant and as a tax specialist and has a strong financial background, all traits that helped him improve the Financial performance of FIAT.

Marchionne believes in accountability of management and looks for new talent. Perhaps this different approach, that is, a willingness to clean out myopic management, make the necessary changes and introduce new ideas will be the ingredients that will enable Chrysler Group to succeed.