I wouldn't be caught dead driving that car if you paid me.
Nothing Fiat makes would be anything other than a laughing stock in
You know what I don't get?
Daimler still owns 19% of Chrysler. Daimler has a bunch of small cars.
Why aren't we hearing about any deals to bring THOSE cars here to North
America and badge them as Chryslers? They'd be much more attractive
than these ulgy Fiat things.
Wed Apr 8, 2009
NEW YORK – Chrysler President and Vice Chairman Jim Press said Wednesday
the government's May 1 deadline for the automaker to complete a deal
with Fiat allows "ample time" to reach a definitive agreement that is
key to saving Chrysler from bankruptcy.
"We prefer having a shorter timeframe to get through this period, get
all the questions out of our minds, and get back to business as usual,"
Press said during the first day of media previews at the New York
International Auto Show.
He surprised reporters at Chrysler's news conference to unveil a new
Jeep Grand Cherokee by arriving on the stage in an iconic Fiat 500
subcompact. The 500, one of the Italian automaker's most successful
models, would help fill the void of small vehicles in Chrysler's lineup
if Chrysler survives and brings Fiat cars to U.S. showrooms by 2011, as
"Don't you think that this would be a perfect car to get around New York
City?" he told reporters. Shortly after, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee
rounded the stage's corner and ascended a series of steps onto the
The vehicle, which will be 11 percent more fuel efficient than its
predecessor, will go on sale early next year.
Press said Chrysler has been aggressively moving to reduce costs while
still unveiling new vehicles. The company has plans to introduce eight
new vehicles in the next 18 months.
"We realize we have a responsibility to the American public," he said.
Press said Chrysler has been having a "constructive dialogue" with Fiat.
The Italian automaker's chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, flew to
Detroit on March 30, the day the Obama administration announced Chrysler
and General Motors Corp.'s restructuring plans were insufficient and set
strict deadlines for the companies to reach new goals or face
"At this point in time with Fiat, we don't see anything that would be an
impasse or a deal breaker," Press said. "We've had a constructive
dialogue going, a cooperative dialogue with all the stakeholders, and
we're hopeful that we'll be able to achieve the goals."
He said the company is progressing under the assumption that bankruptcy
will not be required.
"We're pursuing the deal with Fiat assuming that a bankruptcy would not
be the favored option. It wouldn't be in the best interest," he said.
"Obviously you can't rule anything out, but we're working full speed, 24
hours a day to achieve the alliance and get our viability plan
The government has said it will continue providing short-term aid for
Chrysler while the Auburn Hills, Mich., company works out a deal, but
Press said Chrysler hasn't needed more than the $4 billion the
government provided earlier this year.
"We've been assured that if we need additional short-term aid, it's
available from the government," he said. "Right now we're OK at this
point in time."
Press declined to comment on reports that banks that lent Chrysler $6.8
billion in 2007 are resisting efforts to convert most of the automaker's
debt to equity.
"We've got a lot of discussions going on with a lot of stakeholders, a
lot of balls in the air," he said. "Those discussions are going on right