History could eventually reveal that Chrysler declaring bankruptcy may have just been the easy part. According to CNN, affidavits taken from Chrysler engineers and executives do a pretty good job of showing that things will get really tough when it's time for the automaker to start making cars again, the theme being that downtime will prove even more costly than running time.

When Chrysler is ready to make new vehicles again, Auburn Hills and its suppliers will face numerous issues: no new models are being worked on in bankruptcy, and when development begins again, it will reportedly take 50% longer to get those cars developed. Of more immediate concern is that while production plants are idled and nothing is being made, factories still need to be cared for and equipment must be stored – documents suggest that the bill for storing paint alone is $2 million, and it's $15 million to replace the paint. Finally, suppliers will be asked to begin producing parts after a lengthy interruption in revenue and with no money up front; and none of the new models can be built until the current models sitting on assembly lines are finished.

All of this is before you get into issues like the 300,000+ 2008 and 2009 model year cars sitting on dealer lots – not to mention the millions owed to dealers for incentives, warranty costs and receivables. And while it also explains why Chrysler has had such a hard time finding a tie-up, news like this makes one wonder about what's really worth saving in the maelstrom and what kind of "Chrysler" we will see emerge from it.

[Source: CNN]

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