The Detroit News reports that former Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli believes that the Obama Administration didn't need to hand the automaker to Fiat in order for the company to continue on. Instead, Nardelli says that a private equity firm could have easily taken the reins and steered the company back toward success. As you may recall, Nardelli left Chrysler in 2009 after the private equity firm Cerberus was forced to loosen its grip on the company. We don't need to elaborate on how well that whole experience went for Chrysler. Cerberus purchased the automaker from Daimler in 2007 for $7.4 billion and later lost its stake in the company during the Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings.

Nardelli says that Chrysler would be doing just fine right now if Cerberus had been given the same deal that the U.S. government gave Fiat. The former executive then went on to say that there was no reason for Chrysler to be given to Fiat, and that the deal was all "all theater and no substance." To our ears, considering where Nardelli and Co. left Chrysler, this all sounds quite a bit like a wounded ego at work. To be fair, though, the former Home Depot exec did bring a fairly salient point to the discussion by reminding that Fiat has largely been credited with Chrysler's more recent successes – despite the fact that much of the progress was already set in motion by Cerberus before the implosion.


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  • 55 Comments
      visconti24
      • 3 Years Ago
      They did not "lose" Chrysler. They squandered, ran it into the ground, destroyed it, bankrupted it, looted it, bled it and left the bones bleaching in the sun. The government picked up the bones so the employees would not be left with nothing and then gave them to FIAT. This man should be jailed.
        ExoPlanet
        • 3 Years Ago
        @visconti24
        You just explained what DAIMLER did to them. Cerberus walked in afterwards, saw there was no meat left on those bleached bones and did the bare minimum to save it. They tried to get the Gov't to force GM to absorb Chrysler, they tried to collaborate with a bunch of those dime a dozen trash Chinese car companies and they tried to sell off Viper. That was all during massive lay-off's in the tens of thousands which meant carving out entire departments. Hit up www.chryslercareers.com to see the massive rebuilding and hiring currently taking place.
      RJC
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hhmm. Give it to a private equity firm experienced in the scorched earth philosophy of running a business, or give it to an established car company, who intends to build....cars? Oh yeah, tough choice.
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ok I want to have what he's having because whatever he's taking is obviously making him live in a fantasy land. Fiat has access to numerous platforms and future platforms in the pipeline that can help Chrysler out in the future. Cerberus had um... hmm yeah they had stuff.
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nobody misses this guy. Look at where all of Chrysler's brands are right now. Classy and actually designed interiors, new engines and transmissions, cleaner exterior designs, all because of the Italian influence. There's not a chance in hell that Chrysler would be where it is today without Fiat.
      Carman
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nardelli is still smoking Home Depot sawdust. This guy does is Crazy, CRAZY. Cererbus AND Diamler were only interested in making money and reaping the profits. Both had no interest in seeing Chrysler succeed. Nardelli need to hide under the rock from whence he came.
      amfmlittle
      • 3 Years Ago
      I worked at Chrysler up until the Fiat takeover. Nardelli was a joke and was never respected because he had no idea what the heck he was doing. Cerberus was after continuous cuts on the vehicles in order to increase their revenue on each car. At least now Chrysler has a car guy running the company and the changes made by Fiat are way bigger than anything Cerberus had planned. The Grand Cherokee and the new Durango were the only cars that Cerberus can claim some responsibility for.
        Mike K
        • 3 Years Ago
        @amfmlittle
        And those 2 vehicles are riding on the Mercedes M-Class chassis. Cerberus was a joke.
          muppethead
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mike K
          Yo Mike, who do you think developed that chassis for Benz? I'll give you one guess
          Peter
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mike K
          The other way around, the Mercedes M-Class is riding in the GC platform developed by Chrysler.
          Synthono
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mike K
          To be fair to Mike K, whoever did the majority of the development work it's still a platform shared with MB. So, it's a platform that was developed in the Daimler days, and Cerberus can take no credit.
          ThomasP
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Mike K
          i think it is more accurate to say that they share a platform with the M-Class as they were co-developed when MB was still in charge. (needless to say they hade sure their product was out first) however, this also illustrates that MB also has a hand in the success of the Jeep and Durango since they clearly helped develop it.
      Nathan Loiselle
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm sorry. Most of them were because of Cerberus? I don't think the introduction of Fiat's smaller cars into North America which allowed Chrysler to fill a gap in their product line that neither Cerberus gave any inkling of filling nor Daimler before them was because of Cerberus. I don't think the introduction of the refresh that makes the Charger look far more appealing was because of them. I don't think the improvement of interior materials was because of them. They were given two years and what did they do? The same thing that Chrysler did in the early '70's. End up behind the times in regard to market demand. They didn't inform anyone of what they had in the works nor showed any concepts that answered the same question. Cerberus did less than Daimler did and all Daimler did was use it to peddle wares from Mercedes.
        whofan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nathan Loiselle
        Diamler raped Chrysler then let them down easy with Cerberus. Chrysler was literally gutted. I thought back in 1998 look out the maker of Mercedes Benz now owns (at the time) Amerca`s hottest car company. I thought it would turn into a juggernaut. Bob Lutz should have been handed the reins instead. Cerberus got a shell of what was once a great company. I hope Fiat shows Diamler what could have been. As for Mercedes I would rather be pushed in a Plymouth then drive one of them after what they did!
          Axia24
          • 3 Years Ago
          @whofan
          Daimler did rape Chrysler. They basically tried to learn cost-cutting from the Americans but did it wrong, hence VERY sub-par MBs for years after the DC fiasco began. Towards the end of Daimler, Zietsche started the ball rolling in the right direction but Daimler decided to cut their losses instead & sold it to Cerberus. Cerberus did no further development. The Pentastar, new GC & other lauded products began under Daimler & not Cerberus. And Fiat delayed MANY new products to market, like the 2011 GC, Charger, 300 etc because the Cerberus ones were NOT what they should have been. Reworked suspensions, interiors, better build quality and the Pentastar were not on Cerberus's launch roadmaps! The Pentastar was to be added in later. Fiat saw to it that these were launched right. Thanks Sergio!
          whofan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @whofan
          Not to say Cerberus intentions were any good. Chrysler was already screwed.
      jscassano
      • 3 Years Ago
      You have to be kidding. Those Private Equity guys only knew how to cut, not build a company. Nardelli was no more the right CEO for Chrysler than Mickey Mouse. Fiat-Chrysler now has a fighting change to survive as a much bigger global company.
      Johnny Trailerpark
      • 3 Years Ago
      Eff this guy. Go back to Home Depot. Douche.
        Synthono
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Johnny Trailerpark
        Home Depot: "What did we do wrong here?"
      Dana Cebi
      • 3 Years Ago
      greedy businessman translation: "I want more money!!!! You gave piggybank to Italians now i cannot steal!"
      robert
      • 3 Years Ago
      NARDELLI should be arrested for IMPERSONATING a CEO!!!!! he is the ULTIMATE WRECKING MACHINE who should be put out to pasture (with his PILFERED millions)
      BigNorm Jackson
      • 3 Years Ago
      As much of a mopar fan I am.. I don't see Chrysler existing without Fiat
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