Think Fiat's getting a pretty sweet deal with Chrysler? The Italian automaker is, after all, gaining a 20% stake in the troubled American automaker, plus local manufacturing capacity and access to its dealer networks, all without paying a thin dime. Not a bad deal, but Chrysler's hard at work trying to make it sweeter. Emerging reports suggest that if the deal between Fiat and Chrysler were to fall apart, Chrysler would be obligated to pay Fiat $35 million in severance fees.

Chrysler is currently pursuing the clause in the courts administering its bankruptcy protection. The reasoning is that Fiat has put in the time and money into pursuing the partnership that would allow Chrysler to continue operating, and if the courts – or anyone else, for that matter – were to terminate the arrangement, Fiat would deserve compensation. A similar clause worked out well for Fiat after its partnership with General Motors was terminated. The tables now turned, Fiat has certainly come a long way since then.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Chris McGrath/Getty]