Chrysler: No break-up

Time 13 years ago

CHRYSLER held a snap press conference at the Detroit Show to declare: We’re not being broken up.

Senior executives sought to reassure the media that the company was not about to be diced and sliced, despite reports.

Reuters had reported that Renault-Nissan was in discussions to acquire the Jeep brand, while an assembly plant in Belvedere, Illinois, was to be sold to supplier Magna.

Perhaps concerned at the poor reception of Sunday’s press event, where Chrysler vice-chairman Jim Press made light of the company’s situation and concentrated instead on the ENVI electric car programme, Chrysler bosses were much more direct this time.

There would be no piecemeal sale of brands or factories, said vice-chairman Tom LaSorda, and he said the report about Jeep was ‘absolutely false’.

‘We will not separate the brands from the company,’ he said. And he added that such a move would require US Government approval.

Renault has said it is not in talks over Jeep, but Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is known to covet the brands, which Renault once owned but sold to Chrysler more than 20 years ago.

The Magna rumours grew from the announcement that former Chrysler COO Wolfgang Bernhard, has joined Magna as a consultant. Magna was involved in talks with Chrysler over a Russian JV, but talks broke down in 2007.

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