Chrysler certainly has something to be proud of. So does the Federal government and taxpayers. The automaker has just announced they have repaid its multi-billion dollar loans to both the U.S. and Canadian governments. The final re-payment amount, including interest, totaled $7.6 billion. $5.9 billion was paid to the U.S. and $1.7 billion went to Canada. Chrysler managed to do this a full six years ahead of schedule by securing private refinancing transactions.
Under the guidance and watchful eye of Fiat, which has also risen from near death in the past, Chrysler has put greater emphasis on quality and smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Really? Besides the Fiat 500 (not a Chrysler), Chrysler is still a couple years away from a Caliber replacement. And although models such as the 300 and Sebring (re-christened 200) received major upgrades, the money-making vehicles were - ready for it - SUVs. Thanks to the initial success of the all-new Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee, sales went up 17 percent in 2010.
Remember, Chrysler still has debt, but it can now save nearly $350 million yearly in interest. They also now have more than $10 billion in assets. I'll say it once again: Welcome back, Chrysler.