Fiat may have helped save Chrysler back in 2009, but today the tables appear to be turning.
It’s no secret that many die-hard Chrysler fans aren’t overly pleased by the fact Fiat is now pulling the strings in Auburn Hills. Chrysler may no longer be an all-American automaker but at least it’s still an automaker; a fact that wasn’t guaranteed just a few short years ago. Thanks to CEO Sergio Marchionne’s aggressive turnaround strategy, Chrysler is not only surviving, its flourishing. And now Fiat has made clear it wants to gain full control of Chrysler by increasing its stake to 68.49 percent.
The Italian automaker has just exercised an option that allows it to raise its stake in Chrysler by 3.3 percent. By July 2014, Fiat has the right to increase its total stake to 75 percent. There’s no doubt Fiat wants this merger to happen and there’s a very good reason for that: Chrysler is now Fiat’s most reliable profit generator ever since the European car market, specifically in Italy, collapsed. Without those Chrysler profits, Fiat would have lost more than 1 billion Euros last year. Instead, it reported a group net income of 1.41 billion Euros. Considering Fiat is the one that helped bail Chrysler out back in 2009, it’s ironic how things are turning out now.