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Chrysler still makes cars? Apparently so, and CEO Bob Nardelli was on Capitol Hill yesterday with his colleagues from Ford and General Motors, warning that the Pentastar is in serious danger of exhausting its reserves by early 2009. Chrysler's share of the $25 billion in aid the automakers are asking for stands at $7 billion, though at the current rate, that money wouldn't last long, possibly about one fiscal quarter. Senators are concerned that the automakers will turn into a monetary black hole, but the Detroit CEOs are trying to plead the case that securing some federal help will make it easier to emerge out the other side of this downturn.
Nardelli did pledge to accept a $1 per year salary if it would help sway those with the purse strings. It would have been nice if he'd made that pledge to help his company and workforce, instead of it just being a token gesture to help him pick the pocket of the American taxpayer, but the $1 salary, which mimics what Lee Iacocca did during Chrysler's last near-failure, may play better than Alan Mulally's concern over a potential retention problem if the management is actually held accountable. Rick Wagoner divulged that he'd cut his salary by half. We think CEO salaries of a buck are fair - shoot, you can still afford a PT Cruiser on that pay.

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




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  • 57 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Senators are concerned that the automakers will turn into a monetary black hole, "

      I think of the Senate and Congress in general as the ultimate monetary black hole.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If only Congress would grill themsleves as much when they ask for a tax increase as they are grilling the Big 3 now.

        If you think the Big 3 are good at throwing money down the drain, let me introduce you to the Federal Gov't my friend.

        Difference is, the Gov't can always just tax more, businesses have to actually earn money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Time for everyone to read today's Rant at The Autoextremist:

      http://www.autoextremist.com/
        • 6 Years Ago
        Great article, thanks for the link.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Don't forget about the thousands of retried folk getting pensions from the big three. Detroit is making some great award winning products. The Banks and there credit problems are the real issue.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Jesus.



      Can anything worse happen to the American autos????
        • 6 Years Ago
        i wish w/ the bailout, GM would be given additional assets to simply buy out chrysler. i mean, seriously...how do you face bankruptcy twice in the course of about 30 years.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Chrysler is an iconic American corporation that has: helped the US win several wars, produced hundreds of valuable patents on automotive and other technologies over the years, and employs
      tens of thousands of Americans.

      And the best the author can do is some lame crack like: "Chrysler still makes cars?"

      Spare us. The article was just more badly informed, cynical, anti-Chrysler crap.
        • 6 Years Ago
        double post sorry
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nobody is denying Chrysler's history, everybody appreciates it, but it is in fact, history. This is a capitalist country, for a company to survive they're going to have to compete by offering and producing competitive products, not by offering junk.

        All of Detroit has had PLENTY of time IMO to get their act together, has it not? How much more time do they need? What good is funding to help them last one more fiscal quarter going to do? especially for Chrysler, at least Chevy has a chance with the Volt.

        IMO, Chrysler's been taking advantage of American loyalty for a long time, which is probably the only reason they even managed to last this long. Let capitalism (what this country is all about might I add) and Darwinism run its course. It's all about survival of the fittest in today's marketplace, Chrysler is not fit.
        • 6 Years Ago
        this is a capitalist country, to survive they'll need to compete with other companies by producing competitive offerings instead of junk, not get bailed out by tax payers when people stop buying their junk b/c they realized it's, surprise! junk.

        taking advantage of fellow American's loyalty is the only reason Chrysler has probably been able to even to last this long, and is not a good strategy in the market place.

        IMO, Chrysler and all of Detroit has had PLENTY of time to get it's act together but hasn't, and at this point would suggest to let capitalism along with Darwinism to take its course. It's survival of the fittest in today's marketplace, Chrysler is not fit.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I find it hard to believe that a person who rises to the position of CEO in a company as big as GM/Ford/Chrysler (or MS, Yahoo, Boeing, Shell, what have you) would really be hurting for the income they get. They should really all be working for $1. Just think about the tax cut they would get! Seriously, though, maybe pay them, say, $100K per year. It's not as if all their business expenses aren't covered by the company.

      Not advocating communism or anything like that, I just find it hard to stomach hearing these guys whine about how much they are hurting for cash, talking about layoffs, closing plants, when their annual compensation runs in the tens or hundreds of millions.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nardelli made $200,000,000 (200 million) from fleecing Home Depot and running it into the ground. What on earth could the board of directors at Chysler be thinking in hiring that clown?

      Yes, technically Im sure he will be working for "$1 salary"...HOWEVER, his stock options will be work around $50million or so...
      • 6 Years Ago
      tenfifteen:
      "Of the big 3, Chrysler seems least-equipped to weather the current situation."

      You're just parroting the convenstional wisdom of the auto blogosphere. The only reason this myth gets repeated is because Chrysler is the smallest of the domestics. Smallest does not mean weakest. And it can be an advantage. GM (the biggest) is the weakest and is likely to go down first. Their costs are way out of wack with their revenues. Simple math.

      Other myths:
      Nardelli has run Chrysler into the ground.
      He has been there for a little over a year. Count Daimlercula left Chrysler a blood drained company. Like Mullaly he has institued changes that will take time to bear fruit.

      Chrysler hasn't done anything to improve their product line/realign the company/resolve long standing issues.
      If you spend even a little time off of AB and go over to Allpar.com you will see that's far from the truth. Cerberus has made many changes for the good since taking Chrysler a year ago (like the interiors). There's too many to list. Do some research.

      Nobody buys there products.
      Chrysler sold more vehicles here than Nissan and Hyundai combined in 2007 and so far this year.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's not hard to sell vehicles when you're offering 1/2 off MSRP for a truck and selling other vehicles so cheap you have no profit margin left. The problem is one of quality (read PROFITABILITY) and not quantity. I don't think I've ever seen a Dodge Journey without a little green "e" on the back, so even with the number of vehicles they sell, it's inflated by fleet sales.
      • 6 Years Ago
      1/2 salary?
      Get rid of Rick.
      Cut salaries by 2/3rds from the top down
      No perks or bonuses until a return to profitability.
      Have the unions follow suit!
      Anyone with a lick of common sense could do the job.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Um..no stock options there guy....

      Chrysler is privately held, and if they are not on the stock exchange (and they aren't) then there are no stock options to be had.

      I agree that Chrysler may actually be in a better situation than GM, if only because they have more modern facilities, and a smaller infrastructure. This puts them in a better position to operate in a leaner/meaner mode than GM.

      In 1998 (the year Daimler took them over) Chrysler was the most profitable car company in the world per dollar invested. They had BILLIONS in liquid assets just collecting interest. MB took all that cash and kicked them to the curb.

      I hold Benz responsible for Chryslers current situation.
      Jvijil
      • 6 Years Ago
      LOL at the pt cruiser joke
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let it all crash. And it's going to anyway.

      You can't live far above your means for decades, while the rest of the world is saving, managing and efficiently progressing, then expect the rest of the world to continue to live far below you do as they hand you their savings.

      It's over, North America!!! Get used to more of this. Prepare for hyper-inflation b/c they printed money to delay the inevitable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The new GC is pulling 26mpg@75mph in durability tests....

      The phoenix program is still running at full steam....

      Chrysler definitely has a future, I would not count them down and out just yet.
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