Fortune profiles John Elkann

Here’s an interesting profile of John Elkann in Fortune. Elkann is the grandson of the legendary Gianni Agnelli and he now leads the family’s business interests. The Agnelli family essentially controls Exor, a public company that controls Fiat. Elkann was responsible for putting Sergio Marchionne in charge of Fiat which was critical to turning the company around.

  

Chrysler sales still on fire

Times are good for Chrysler, which provides some good economic news for the administration on a day that the lame job numbers came out.

Chrysler sales jumped 30% in May, which extend an incredible steak of 12 consecutive months where the company has exceed 20& year-over-year sales growth. This is excellent news for the company and for anyone who defended the auto bailout.

And things might get even better for Chrysler soon:

And it comes as Chrysler prepares later this month to roll out its key new car introduction for the year, the Fiat-based Dodge Dart, above, that it aims to get the company back into the small-car game. Dart is an enlarged, Americanized version of Fiat’s sporty Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

All the company’s brands — Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat — posted year-over-year gains in May. Fiat was up most, 128% to a record month as the tiny 500 finally gains some traction.

But the Chrysler brand was heroic — up 81%, as the 200 sedan zoomed 87% and the big 300 rocketed 140% for its best May since 2007.

If the Dart is a hit, then Sergio Marchionne and his team can really celebrate.

Check out the entire article for news on the other automakers.

  

At Chrysler – Sergio can say ” I did it my way”

Behind the scenes look at how Chrysler broke away from government control.

From AutoNews.com:

NEW YORK – On the morning of May 24, an upbeat Sergio Marchionne was combing his music library to compile a playlist for an employee event that afternoon at Chrysler Group LLC’s headquarters.

As the chief executive settled on Bruce Springsteen’s version of “Eyes on the Prize,” he received a phone call with long-awaited news: Chrysler finally repaid $7.6 billion of bailout loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments.

That day marked a new chapter in the comeback of the smallest of Detroit’s three automakers, the one the Obama administration wasn’t sure was worth saving back in 2009.

It was the Italian businessman’s deep involvement in Chrysler, and Fiat SpA’s willingness to put in $1.27 billion, that helped the company pull off one of the largest debt deals since the financial crisis — winning the backing of some of the same banks that were wiped out in its bankruptcy.

Investors who looked at the deal were initially skeptical about the large size of the financing as Chrysler still had to address concerns over its vehicle lineup and financial outlook, people involved in the process said. There were also questions over whether the company had really transformed itself.

Read the full article.

  

Fiat looks for 51% stake in Chrysler

I don’t think anyone is too surprised by this development as Marchionne’s Fiat will reap more rewards for the risk the company took back in 2009.

From Auto News.com:

Fiat SpA, the Italian carmaker that owns 20 percent of Chrysler Group LLC, may boost the holding to more than 50 percent before an initial public offering by the U.S. automaker, the companies’ chief executive officer said.

β€œI think it is possible. I don’t know whether it is likely, but it is possible that we’ll go over the 50 percent mark if Chrysler decides to go to the markets in 2011,” Sergio Marchionne, 58, told reporters at the Milan stock exchange today. β€œIt will be advantageous if that happens.”

Fiat received the stake as part of Chrysler’s 2009 bankruptcy reorganization under government supervision. It expects to receive an additional 15 percent this year when Chrysler makes a small engine in the U.S. and meets sales objectives outside of North America. Fiat has an option to increase the holding to 51 percent, by buying an additional 16 percent, after Chrysler repays U.S. and Canadian government loans.

Read the full article.

  

Fiat moving toward 51% ownership of Chrysler

Fiat could very likely own 51% of Chrysler in the next few years. If that happens Sergio Marchionne might have made the biggest and smartest one sided bet of the great recession!

From Detroit Free Press:

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, told analysts Thursday that Fiat plans to raise its ownership of Chrysler from 20% to 35% by the end of 2011 “barring unforeseen circumstances.”

Marchionne’s comments came in a conference call after the Italian automaker reported third-quarter earnings of 170 million euros, or $236 million.

Fiat can increase its Chrysler stake in 5% increments by meeting three objectives. The first objective, to be achieved early next year, is the launch of a 1.4-liter four-cylinder MultiAir engine built at its Dundee, Mich., factory, in the Mexican-assembled Fiat 500 minicar.

Read the full article.

  

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