• May 15th 2007 at 12:34PM
  • 35
After months of speculation, the Chrysler sale happened without too much fanfare on Monday morning, as Cerberus came out as the top bidder, and several potential investors came away empty-handed. One of the few groups vying for control of Chrysler was its own employees, and Automotive News is reporting that those UAW members feel they never got a real chance.

Members of Toledo's Jeep plant tried to get together a bid for the beleaguered Chrysler group, but they felt as though the folks in Stuttgart and Auburn Hills stalled in order to keep the workers at bay. The members were also angered by Ron Gettlefinger's comments that the sale to Cerberus was "in the best interest of the membership" only a few weeks after stating that the UAW was opposed to any sale to a private equity group. President of the Chrysler Employee Buyout Committee (CEBC) Michele Mauder also criticized Daimler for basically paying $650 million to get out from under Chrysler's liabilities. CEBC claims that they aren't as upset by the fact that they didn't win the right to purchase Chrysler as they were that they never got a fair chance to bid.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

In the end, we have a hard time imagining a scenario where the UAW would come away with ownership of the Chrysler group. White collar employees wouldn't want to be a part of a company where the union had 100% control, and few companies would invest capital in another company that would be more interested in jobs than profits.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm no oracle, but here's what I predict...

      - Cerebrus keeps Chrysler Financial.
      - Cerebrus merges Chrysler Financial with GMAC
      - Cerebrus sells manufacturing arm to Magna
      - Month 18 Wolfgang takes over as CEO

      • 8 Years Ago
      Maybe Porshe is still looking to buy a car company?

      Seriously though, this may be the beginning of the end for unions at Chrysler. Think the wal-mart of car companies.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "They never actually work, that's for sure."

      I am guessing you sit on your ass at a desk all day for a living. You wouldn't last a minute working on a line.
      • 8 Years Ago
      No more Dr. Z commercials...that's all that matters.
      • 8 Years Ago
      'Bring back the Straight six.

      End of rant

      Buy a BMW. :)

      Its amazing how right wing talk radio has ruined this country. People don't even think about issues anymore they just parrot the latest or oldest right wing talking points. Unions are not the problem in this country people. They are not the reason american car companies make crappy cars (neither is health care).
      The right represents the people who OWN businesses and they hate unions because unions give workers power. They then use radio and FOX News as a club to beat you over the head that unions suck (usually by simply stating that liberals support unions), which makes folks hate unions, which sends us back to about 1906 to 1929, the glory years of the rich. "Sixteen tons and what do you get, another day older and deeper in debt." Open a history book instead of repeating what Rush said yesterday.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Cerberus is a Republican criminal gang"

      damned roght wing conspiracies I tell ya! BDS what? watch out for the black helicopters....

      "it's probably not in the company's best interests (as already pointed out) to sell to a private party"

      Wrong. It isn't in the best interest of the UAW, it IS in the best interest of the company.

      Quickreach: that's not that bad of a timeline at all... the problem is the separation of GMAC and ChryFi. Chrysler Financial is solely automotive, GMAC has their fingers in every financial/investment/loan business there is. Keeping that separation will be difficult, if not impossible.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I am the consultant that has been assisting the employees in buying Chrysler. It's not over yet. As I read your comments there are some misconceptions. The ESOP is open to everyone - union, management and dealers. The UAW or CAW would not own the company the employees own it and the union works for you - as it should be. What has happened to you all is a shame, the union flipped on you and Dieter rushed to get a deal when the ESOP came knocking on their door. We put together the ability for Michele Mauder and the ESOP to raise billions for you all to own the company you and sometimes generations of your family has worked at. Every buyer will look for a pound of flesh from you but if you own the company through an ESOP you can get it back when it turns around AND get the value of the equity. Remember they paid #9 billion 9 years ago so there is allot of upside. The question is are you content to sit there and let the billionaire private equity guys keep your concessions and make billions on your sweat as you turn the company around of do you derserve it. It can be done, money is not the issue - you are.

      Go to www.employeeownedauto.org and learn about this.

      All this back slapping and handshaking is just a show. No matter how much lipstick you put on this pig, private equity is private equity and they do what they do best. If you don't become part of your own future, you have nothing to complain about when you get squeezed.

      As for the straight six - I prefer the HEMI
      Rich Caires
      • 8 Years Ago
      Jeep needs to be its own division, simple as that. A separate entity. That way, we'll get real Jeeps, not watered down crossovers that couldn't navigate their way over a small curb. And someone will bring back a real 4WD pickup truck like the comanche, and do away with the ugly and gas guzzling grocery-getter that is the Grand Cherokee - commander can stay, since it's more like a Wagoneer was anyway :D
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Its amazing how right wing talk radio has ruined this country"

      that damned conspiracy again.

      It has nothing to do with massive corruption on all sides of DC I'm sure (DiFi and BILLIONS in contracts to her husband, whats-his-name and $90k in the freezer, most ethical congress my...)

      It has nothing to do with progressive ideology, socialistic tendencies, pork, nanny state, deterioration of state's rights and power, non-strict constructionist judiacial readings of teh constitution, global jihad building since the 1970's, corporate coruption and mis-accounting, the U frickin N, pourus borders and complete non-enforcent of laws, race baiters (sharpton, et.al) and shall I go on?
      • 8 Years Ago
      #36 (Rich Caires): "without [the book of company financials] you can only guess and guessing can't raise $... Daimler and JP just ignored the ESOP earlier requests. This is typical when an entity is not represented by an investment bank - the are not considered credible."

      You raised a good point about Tracinda and the Chrysler Employee Buyout Committee not being given the book to raise the money to make a proper bid. But I think there's more to it.

      Tracinda publicly announced that they would offer around $4.5 billion to buy Chrysler, which was only half of what Daimler wanted for Chrysler, and substantially less than what Cerberus eventually paid. In addition to offering less money, Tracinda also tacked on other constraints, demanding that it be the exclusive negotiating partner for 2 months. If I'm selling a used car, and a prospective buyer offered me just half of my asking price, then told me I couldn't talk to other prospective buyers, I would give him the cold shoulder, and not bother giving him a test drive. Just like Daimler did not bother giving Tracinda the book.

      The story is somewhat different for the CEBC. As you mentioned, up until the last minute, the CEBC was not partnered with any credible financial resources. In addition, labor union contracts are up for renegotiation soon. The dual facts that: (a) the CEBC did not have a credible financial partner from the start, and (b) the UAW will soon be negotiating with Chrysler management on labor contracts -- lead me to suspect that the CEBC was a tool designed to extract insider information to give the UAW an upper hand in contract negotiations. And if Daimler had the same suspicion, it would explain why Daimler ignored the CEBC.

      Now, one issue remains: Did Daimler rush the sale to thwart the CEBC's attempt to gather credible financial momentum? Possibly. But speaking with 20-20 hindsight, I find fault with the CEBC for not getting involved with a credible financial partner right away, instead of waiting around for months to do so. In the end, if Daimler had indeed stiffed the employees, it was because the CEBC had made all the wrong moves that allowed Daimler to stiff it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Maybe the purchase of chrysler by the UAW and its subsequent failure would teach the union members a lesson about the difficulties in running an automotive enterprise. Oh wait, that would mean assuming some of the blame for problems that they've brought on themselves. Sorry about the rant, former 'white collar' Ford employee here who saw firsthand the UAW's obstructionist tactics which were killing the hands that were feeding them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Employee ownership is a powerful thing, which has sucessfully happened elsewhere. It's too bad they did not get the opportunity, it would have been a great experiment."

      seems to have worked out OK for Harley Davidson after the AMF years.....
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