Former car czar Rattner impressed by quick Detroit 3 turnaround

Steven Rattner
, who headed up the Obama Administration's Auto Task Force during the quick-rinse bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors, is more pleased with the success of the auto bailouts than he ever thought he would be. "Overhaul," Rattner's controversial memoir of his time heading up Team Auto and navigating the murky Beltway waters is now out in paperback with a new epilogue that showers high praise on Sergio Marchionne and the efforts Chrysler has made, as well as recounting getting misty watching the new General Motors start trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Throughout "Overhaul," it's clear that Chrysler almost didn't make it, which makes the latest news of a $212 million quarterly profit in Auburn Hills all the more incredible to Rattner. As for GM, Rattner doesn't think the common joke of "Government Motors" is hurting the company, and he says taxpayers likely stand to recoup most of the investment in the two automakers and ancillary investments in suppliers and credit institutions like GMAC (now Ally Bank).

On the one hand, Rattner calls it a story with a happy ending, though he tempers that with more caution later on, saying "the movie's not over yet." Things are certainly looking up for GM and Chrysler, though for how long will be down to management decisions and market conditions.

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