Monday, September 14, 2009

Marchionne Managing Chrysler Means 5 Mobile Devices in Backpack

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- To save Chrysler Group LLC, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne has to create a mid-size sedan that can compete with the world’s best. It’s a three- to five-year job, and he may have two years to do it.

Chrysler, which got a $15 billion government bailout, may be out of cash in 24 months if he doesn’t return the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company to profitability. Developing a car to rival perennial top sellers Toyota Camry and Honda Accord would normally take at least three years, analysts say.

Marchionne, 57, the CEO of Fiat SpA who brought that company back from near ruin, stepped into the toughest challenge of his career by taking control of Chrysler. Failure may mean not only the demise of the third-largest U.S. automaker and tens of thousands of jobs, it may prevent Marchionne from turning Turin, Italy-based Fiat into a global player.

“He’s going to have a much harder time than at Fiat,” said Maryann Keller, president of consulting firm Maryann Keller & Associates in Stamford, Connecticut. She’s covered the industry since 1972 and said the question is “whether they have time to fix the product problem before they run out of money.” ...More

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