How important is the forthcoming 2013 Dodge Dart to the future of Chrysler? Well, it allowed Fiat to boost its stake in Chrysler for the fifth time in the past year today, adding five percent to bring Fiat's total ownership to 58.5 percent.

That's because the new Dodge sedan scored a combined 40 miles per gallon in CAFE fuel economy testing, triggering the increase in ownership under the operating agreement reached following the Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings. (Note that the 40 mpg number is unadjusted, meaning that the actual EPA combined fuel economy, the one published on the window sticker, will be lower.) Chrysler sent the United States Treasury a letter stating that it was "irrevocably committed to begin assembly" of the Dart at its Belvidere plant in Illinois. Chrysler will take the wraps off the Dart on January 9 at the Detroit Auto Show.

Fiat's stake in Chrysler has grown considerably since it received its initial 20-percent share in the immediate aftermath of the automaker's bankruptcy. The Italian automaker has now met all the "performance events" of its agreement with the Treasury, and could buy out the United Auto Workers healthcare trust that owns the remaining 41.5 percent of the company, according to a report in Automotive News. However, that report indicates that Fiat's financial situation may not be solid enough to do so – at least not right away.

To read Chrysler's full press release, click through to the jump.
Show full PR text
Chrysler Group LLC Completes Final Performance Event; Fiat S.p.A. Ownership Rises to 58.5 Percent; Fuel-Efficient Dodge Dart to Be Revealed at NAIAS on Jan. 9

January 5, 2012 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today announced that Fiat S.p.A.'s ownership interest in the Company has increased to 58.5 percent, from 53.5 percent (fully diluted), upon the Company's achievement of the final of three performance-related milestones.

As provided in its June 10, 2009 Operating Agreement, Chrysler Group issued a letter to the U.S. Department of the Treasury stating that the Company has irrevocably committed to begin assembly of a vehicle with an unadjusted combined fuel economy of at least 40 mpg in commercial quantities in a production facility located in the United States. As a result, Fiat's ownership interest increased automatically by 5 percent under the terms of the Operating Agreement.

The ownership interests of Chrysler Group's members are now:
Fiat: 58.5 percent
UAW VEBA: 41.5 percent

In late December, Chrysler Group achieved the Fuel Economy Test, for an unadjusted combined rating of 40 mpg, with a pre-production version of the Dodge Dart, its new, state-of-the-art, four-door sedan.

With the 2013 Dodge Dart, Chrysler Group is redefining performance in the compact car segment and delivering world-class aerodynamics. With Alfa Romeo DNA and Dodge's passion for performance at its core, the all-new 2013 Dodge Dart is a thoroughly modern and fuel-efficient vehicle that's beautifully designed and crafted, agile and brings driving fun back to the segment. The all-new Dodge Dart will be made in the United States at Chrysler Group's Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Ill.

The Dodge Dart is scheduled to be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 9.

This is the fifth time in the past year that Fiat has increased its ownership in Chrysler Group.

In June 2009, Fiat initially received a 20 percent stake in Chrysler Group in exchange for sharing intellectual property and other resources with the Company.

On Jan. 10, 2011, Fiat announced that its stake in the Company increased to 25 percent when Chrysler Group received the appropriate government approvals and committed to begin commercial production of the Fully Integrated Robotized Engine (FIRE) in its Dundee, Mich., facility.

On April 12, Fiat's ownership in Chrysler Group increased to 30 percent as Chrysler Group achieved cumulative revenue of more than $1.5 billion attributable to Company sales made outside of Canada, Mexico and the United States and entered into distribution agreements in Brazil and Europe, as well as a technology-use agreement.

In connection with Chrysler Group refinancing and paying back its U.S. and Canadian government loans in full on May 24, six years early, Fiat exercised its call option to increase its ownership interest in Chrysler Group by an incremental 16 percent to 46 percent, on a fully diluted basis.

And on July 21, Fiat reported that it paid $500 million to purchase the U.S. Treasury's remaining 6 percent (fully diluted) ownership interest in Chrysler Group and $125 million to purchase the Canadian governments' remaining 1.5 percent (fully diluted) ownership interest, bringing its fully diluted ownership interest to 53.5 percent. In addition, Fiat paid $75 million to obtain assignment of the U.S. Treasury's rights under the Equity Recapture Agreement.

With the submission of the letter to the U.S. Treasury, Fiat's stake in Chrysler Group is now 58.5 percent.


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  • 62 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
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        SimonSez
        • 3 Years Ago
        It was Daimler-Chrysler for almost ten years in case you didn't notice.
        Frank
        • 3 Years Ago
        That's like saying Nissan is no longer Japanese because Renault owns a large part of it. And when you come down to it all the major players are global in scope now.
      Sukairain
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope Fiat can cure the UAW infection Chrysler suffers and rebuilt the company to its former glory.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        I hate fanboys!! Would seeing Chrysler and/or Ford struggle give you some sense of self assurance? That's the sense I get.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @LUSTSTANG S-197
          [blocked]
          LUSTSTANG S-197
          • 3 Years Ago
          @LUSTSTANG S-197
          Are you forgetting about GM? We bailed them and Chrysler out. Of course you won't remember that, your bias and blind faith won't let you. So it would be worth the job losses, and the resulting damage to the economy to you? That's pathetic, not to mention it would probably hurt GM more than it would help them in the long run. Need a little evidence? There would be no Camaro were it not for the Mustang, because remember, GM threw in the towel on that market when they thought no one wanted rwd coupes. Ford proved them wrong.
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      rmkensington
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hindsight is always 20/20, but now it really feels like we just handed Fiat this massive company for free.
        Randy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rmkensington
        The investment company that owned Chrysler literally asked for $1 for someone to buy the company back in 08. Ford was the only US company that could have done it but they had their owned debt to deal with and taking on Chrysler's would have been bad. From what I gather, anyone buying the company needed capital to keep it running in the range of billions of dollars. So yeah, they got it cheap but keeping it alive and retooling and dealing with the economy was very, very expensive so they kinda paid for it if you get what I mean!
        SPG1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @rmkensington
        agreed
          Alex
          • 3 Years Ago
          @SPG1
          Be thankful they're still in business thanks to comrade Obama.
      speedjohn
      • 3 Years Ago
      Tell autoblog to remove the Glen Beck ad. He's a douche and doesn't belong as ad space on this site
        axiomatik
        • 3 Years Ago
        @speedjohn
        Your browsing history must be bringing the Glenn Beck ads. All I have right now are Hyundai ads.
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @speedjohn
        Why don't you remove yourself from autoblog because you are a douche that doesn't belong on this site. Bring all of your fellow spammers with you, and get on a plane destined for the ocean floor. LOL
      aatbloke1967
      • 3 Years Ago
      Even if Chrysler eventually becomes a 100% wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat, it will still be an American company. Corporate domiciliary has nothing to don with the nationality of the entity which owns its issued shares. People unfamiliar with corporate structure need to learn this concept.
      johnb
      • 3 Years Ago
      Fiat owning Jeep sounds wrong to me,... but good luck to Fiat. I hope they succeed where others failed. Daimler tried and failed to kill it, maybe there's life in there yet!
        Frank
        • 3 Years Ago
        @johnb
        "Fiat owning Jeep sounds wrong to me" Maybe but not as wrong as Daimler owning Jeep (or any other part of Chrysler)'!
        DrEvil
        • 3 Years Ago
        @johnb
        Chrysler was in good standing when the "Merger of Equals" occurred. Mercedes killed off or downgraded whatever products they had in the pipeline. Example: The 300 ended up with hand-me-down parts from the E Series. MB got Chrysler's virtual design & modeling technology. Word is, the SLS currently sits on what was supposed to be the next-gen Viper. Current M-Class chassis was "co-developed" with Jeep (Grand Cherokee).
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DrEvil
          [blocked]
          Frank
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DrEvil
          GM4Life you need to google the following: SCORE, CATIA, Extended Enterprise. Then you might begin to understand what Chrysler had going for it in the 90's before Dumbler "merged" with them and took their money and CAD/CAM tech. But, if you were born around 1994 (which I suspect) you wouldn't have any memory of those days and thus your knowledge of Chrysler would be from about 2005 onward after they were screwed over.
          Dee Jackedup
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DrEvil
          @Frank I must say that's a generous estimate for GM4Life's age. I woulda pegged her for being born in 2002. Whoever she is, GM4Life is obviously not old to drive... or be on the internet.
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm glad that Chrysler is finally making competitive products again as well as fun to drive cars. I test drove the new SRT8 Challenger with a manual and I loved every second of it. It reminds me of the muscle are of old. I'm more of an import fan, but I say that Chrysler/Fiat has quite a storm going, and if they keep it up, the other automakers could lose quite a bit of sleep. Dodge is already my favorite domestic brand. Proud owner of a Magnum SRT8.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        [blocked]
          Justin Campanale
          • 3 Years Ago
          Oh, so I'm a Dodge **** sucker? I don't even like Dodge that much. Besides SRT models and the Wrangler, they haven't made anything competive in recent times till 2011. I am just complimenting them for rising up so quickly and improving their products line.
      Jimmery
      • 3 Years Ago
      Congrats Chrysler! Looks like you engineered a good powertrain. Hope the rest of the car is A1.
      MAX
      • 3 Years Ago
      The scion of the Agnelli family, John Elkann is an American. Fiat and Chrysler are both being run from Auburn Hills, Michigan where Sergio Marchionne a Canadian citizen (his mom and son live in Canada) runs the whole deal. The UAW owns over 40% of the company. Chrysler is certainly an American company.
      • 3 Years Ago
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