Italy’s Fiat is the new owner of most of Chrysler’s assets, closing a deal yesterday that saves the troubled U.S. automaker from liquidation and places a new company in the hands of Fiat’s CEO.
The deal clears the way for a new, leaner Chrysler Group to emerge from bankruptcy protection minus billions in debt, 789 underperforming dealerships and burdensome labour costs that nearly sank the automaker.
The new company will focus on smaller vehicles, areas in which Chrysler was weak.
The Italian automaker won’t put any money into the deal but will give Chrysler billions of dollars worth of small car and engine technology.
Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli bid employees farewell in an email while vice-chairman Tom LaSorda already has retired.
On Tuesday, Chrysler won its battle to erase its secured debt after the Supreme Court declined to rule on objections to the sale to Fiat from a trio of Indiana pension and construction funds.