Former Chrysler CEO Nardelli Says Cerberus Could Have Saved the Automaker ~ Greatest Vehicles

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Former Chrysler CEO Nardelli Says Cerberus Could Have Saved the Automaker

It's been two years since Bob Nardelli stepped down as Chrysler CEO while the company was still owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, for which he still works, but the 63-year-old exec still has the hots for the Detroit carmaker.

During an interview with The Detroit News on the sidelines of a recent Dow Jones conference in New York, Nardelli said that the Obama administration didn’t have to give Chrysler away to Fiat as he believes Cerberus could have done a better job of saving the automaker.
Cerberus, which in 2007 acquired Chrysler from Daimler, was ousted by the Obama administrationduring the 2009 bankruptcy and bailout saga. The government then reached a deal with the Fiat Group it a 20 percent stake in Chrysler LLC, which the Italians eventually boosted to 53.5 percent. Both automotive groups are now run under the leadership of Sergio Marchionne.
"If the government gave us the deal they gave Fiat, we'd be doing just fine — really," Nardelli told the Detroit daily. "There was no reason for them to give Chrysler away," the former Chrysler CEO added.

He even goes as far as accusing the government that its actions during the massive bailoutwere “all theater and no substance” and that instead of Fiat, Cerberus should get most of the credit for turning Chrysler around:
"The fact is, we kept (Chrysler) alive when it could have gone down the tubes. This will sound defensive, but I think we did everything we could," said Nardelli.
Nardelli added that Cerberus cut $5 billion in annual costs from Chrysler's bottom line while it owned the company.
"We ended up furloughing unfortunately 35,000 families, closed factories, got rid of non-earning assets, shut down some platforms. I think Chrysler is where it is because of what we were able to do," he said.
Nardelli also noted that most of the well-received products that Chrysler is now selling, like theJeep Grand Cherokee, the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger, “were in the pipeline when Cerberus was running the company”.
One has to wonder: is it sour grapes or did the Obama administration get rid of the old regime because, as Nardelli claims, it was a readily-available scapegoat? Have your say in the comments section below.


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