Jun 2012

Chrysler’s Rapid Recovery Sales Increase of 43%>

Chrysler’s rapid recovery from its 2009 bankruptcy, saying the company paid back its federal loans in full last year, along with a sobering $1 billion in interest.  “We remain extremely grateful…for the federal assistance we received,” said Dodge CEO Reid Bigland. “We’ve been a very independent, freestanding company since that time.”

A retail sales increase of 43 percent (excluding fleet) in 2011 helped accelerate the payback, followed by a 37 percent increase in the first quarter of 2012.  “We had the distinction last year of being the fastest growing automaker in the United Sates,” said Bigland.  This was followed by a 2012 Q1 operating profit of $740M to give Chrysler its “strongest quarterly profit in 13 years.”  Bigland credits much of the company’s strong performance to a 5-year plan set in late 2009 with its then new partner Fiat.  The plan specified “$23B of capital expenditures, with the vast majority of that going into new products.”  Bigland cited Chrysler’s introduction of 16 all-new or significantly changed products in the last two years.