Chrysler Emblem

Chrysler employees received some good news this week. The automaker announced it would issue profit-sharing checks worth $1,500 to each of its hourly workers for the first time since 2005. The company posted a $183 million profit for 2011, marking the first time the company has avoided a loss in six years, according to The Detroit Free Press. The earnings were due largely to a host of more compelling vehicles, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Chrysler 200 and 300. Each of those vehicles command a higher price tag than their less-refined predecessors.

On average, buyers have been willing to hand over $3,200 more for their Chrysler vehicles than they did just one year prior. Company CEO Sergio Marchionne said the profit-sharing checks were a reward that the company's workers had earned.

Interestingly enough, parent company Fiat isn't enjoying the same success back home. According to the report, without the earnings from the Italian automaker's stake in Chrysler, Fiat would have reported a $265 million loss in 2011. In a strange turn of fate, Chrysler has begun supporting Fiat. With Italy and the rest of Europe in the throws of a debt crisis, the automaker doesn't look to have a better 2012, either.