Nardelli told his employees that the value of partnering with Fiat is greater than the total amount of money that Chrysler has requested (so far) from the government, which stands at around $9 billion. Both, however, are related, as partnering with Fiat, which would involve the Italian company taking up to a 35% stake in Chrysler and getting access to production capacity and distribution networks in the U.S. in return for supplying vehicles and engines, requires the approval of the President's Auto Task Force. Fiat chief Sergio Marchionnne has already met with the Task Force, as has Chrysler, which has a lot of work to do getting concessions from the UAW and its bondholders before a March 31st deadline. Otherwise, the government may decide not to grant Chrysler its current request of $5 billion in loans, which could scare Fiat away. Chrysler claims it can survive even if the partnership with Fiat falls through, but for the automaker's sake, we hope it doesn't.
[Source: Washington Post | Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty]