Monday, March 30, 2009

Chrysler’s Nardelli Is Said to Have Been Allowed to Stay in Job

March 30 (Bloomberg) -- Chrysler LLC Chief Executive Officer Robert Nardelli hasn’t been asked to step down ahead of today’s U.S. government announcement about plans for the automaker, people familiar with the discussions said.

General Motors Corp. CEO Rick Wagoner will leave at the request of the Obama administration, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The companies are surviving with a combined $17.4 billion in U.S. aid, $4 billion of which went to Chrysler.

Chrysler will be told today that it must complete a planned alliance with Italy’s Fiat SpA to gain access to small-car technology in exchange for giving up a 35 percent equity stake, according to a government official.

With the U.S. not seeking a management change, Nardelli, 60, will get a chance to continue efforts to return Chrysler to profit. Chrysler owner Cerberus Capital Management LP hired the former Home Depot Inc. CEO in August 2007 after buying 80 percent of the third-largest U.S. automaker.

Chrysler said it lost $8 billion in 2008 as the U.S. auto market sank to a 16-year low. The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based automaker’s domestic sales tumbled 55 percent in January and 44 percent in February and asked for $5 billion more in U.S. aid. Chrysler Corp., as it was known then, took out $1.2 billion in government-backed loans in 1980 and repaid the money in 1983. ....More

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