FIAT IN THE WORLD: Court Approves Sale of Chrysler Operations to Fiat

Chrysler LLC today announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, has approved its request to sell substantially all of its operations to Chrysler Group LLC, the new company formed in alliance with Fiat SpA.
“With this approval, the new Chrysler Group is created and can prepare to launch as a vibrant new company formed with Fiat,” said Robert L. Nardelli, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chrysler LLC. “Through the hard work and foresight of many Chrysler stakeholders, Chrysler Group will soon begin operations with significant strategic advantages, such as a wage and benefit structure for active and retired employees that is competitive with those of transplant manufacturers; a reduction of debt and interest expense; the disposition of idle assets; a rationalised and more efficient dealer network; and sound agreements with our suppliers.
While this has been an extremely difficult chapter in Chrysler’s history for all involved, the new Company and its customers, employees and suppliers can now begin on a fresh page.”
Chrysler’s Mexican, Canadian and other international operations will also be acquired by Chrysler Group.
We are very pleased with today’s announcement and the opportunities that it brings to our company. At this stage, it is too early to comment or speculate about how the integration with Fiat might apply in Australia or New Zealand regarding all aspects of the operation including dealer body and distribution," said Gerry Jenkins, Managing Director, Chrysler Australia.
The alliance with Fiat provides Chrysler Group with access to exciting products that complement the Company’s current portfolio, technology cooperation and stronger global distribution. Work with Fiat is already well underway to develop the next generation of environmentally friendly, fuel-efficient high-quality vehicles
These and other important steps taken over the past month will position Chrysler Group to provide customers and dealers with the high quality vehicles and service they expect, and enable the new company to become a strong competitor. Many of Chrysler’s stakeholders have worked expeditiously together to launch Chrysler Group, which will move quickly to realise the benefits of the alliance.
“We are very grateful to loyal Chrysler customers who have supported us throughout this process and assure them Chrysler Group is well prepared to produce and support quality vehicles under the Jeep®, Dodge and Chrysler brands as well as parts under the Mopar® brand,” continued Mr. Nardelli.
“We also recognise the sacrifices, unstinting loyalty and enduring belief in Chrysler of many stakeholders, including Cerberus and Daimler, the UAW and CAW leadership, employees, dealers and suppliers who made critical contributions to the viability of Chrysler Group, Chrysler Financial and their efforts with GMAC to provide financing, and the energy and commitment of the U.S. Treasury, the President’s Auto Task Force, Members of Congress and representatives at the state and community level and Canadian Federal and Ontario Provincial governments in helping to move Chrysler Group forward.
Without the extraordinary efforts of all these constituents, the alliance and the creation of a new Chrysler would not have been possible.”
As the Company announced previously on April 30, Mr. Nardelli, who had been leading Chrysler since August 2007, will resign from Chrysler LLC on completion of the transaction. He will return to Cerberus Capital Management LP as an advisor.

ROME (Associated Press) – Fiat Group SpA confirmed Sunday that it is in talks to buy General Motors' European operations, in a move that, combined with its planned $0 takeover of Chrysler LLC, would form one of the world's biggest car and truck makers.
The new auto manufacturer would have $105 billion in annual revenue, Fiat said in a statement.
Fiat said it is evaluating the possible spinoff of its auto business to form the core of the new company.
Fiat Group Automobiles includes the Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari brands.
The statement was issued on the eve of a meeting in Berlin between Fiat Group CEO Sergio Marchionne and the German economy and foreign ministers to discuss Fiat's offer for GM's German unit, Opel.

GM Europe also includes the British company Vauxhall and the Swedish carmaker Saab.
GM has been trying to find investors for its noncore and unprofitable assets as part of a restructuring in which it has sought billions of dollars in aid from the U.S. government to avert collapse.

Opel has said it needs $4.3 billion to get through the economic crisis. The German government has said it doesn't foresee giving direct state aid. Chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested the government could help an Opel investor with loan guarantees.

"As part of this process, the group would evaluate several corporate structures, including the potential spinoff of Fiat Group Automobiles and the subsequent listing of a new company which combines those activities with the activities of General Motors Europe."
In an interview Sunday with Corriere della Sera, Fiat Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo called GM's Opel an "ideal partner" and a possible takeover by Fiat an "extraordinary opportunity."

Fiat is not the only suitor for Opel, however. Last week, Canadian car parts maker Magna International Inc. presented German Economy Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg with what the minister called a "rough concept for a commitment with Opel."
Guttenberg has said the German government would wait to determine its role in any full or partial Opel sale until after the U.S. government had weighed in.
Fiat, meanwhile, has pressed ahead with a takeover of Chrysler. Chrysler filed a motion Saturday to sell substantially all of its assets to Italian automaker Fiat, but the ailing automaker must still deal with creditors who refused to come to a deal to erase the company's debt.
In addition to Fiat Group Automobiles, the Fiat Group also includes its agricultural vehicles branch CNH and its Iveco trucking unit, as well as a media arm


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