Dieter Zetsche 2007 GenevaEnlarge Photo
While DaimlerChrysler is determined to “explore all of our options,” CEO Dieter Zetsche seemed to be stressing that there is no firm commitment to sell its troubled
“I’m absolutely confident Chrysler will become profitable on (the) plan” its chief executive, Tom LaSorda, outlined last month, stressed Zetsche. There are a number of reasons to believe the plan is well-grounded, the German executive asserted. For one thing, about 80 percent of the $4 billon program will be achieved by planned cuts, with only 20 percent required to come from improved revenues.
Zetsche declined to go into specific details of the bidding war reportedly now underway. A variety of suitors have been linked to Chrysler, including General Motors and several large Wall Street investment groups. Zetsche did tell TheCarConnection.com that the process, “is going the way I expected it would.”
There have been numerous questions raised about the process – and DaimlerChrysler’s precise intentions. Indeed, a few observers have begun to wonder whether DC is really all that serious about a sale. It is very possible, said one long-time industry watcher, asking not to be named, that the company may be using the news to put pressure on its American workers in a bid for big concessions. There’s no question that Zetsche and his team were sorely frustrated when, last year, the United Auto Workers refused to approve for Chrysler healthcare givebacks that had been granted General Motors and Ford.
Indeed, in one interview, Zetsche outlined two key reasons for looking at Chrysler’s future. One was the
While most of the media’s attention has been focused on Chrysler in recent months, Zetsche reminded reporters that there’s some good news out of DC these days, notably the sharp improvement in the financial health of the flagship Mercedes-Benz division. “We feel we have built significant momentum within the last year,” said the CEO. Zetsche emphasized he is “absolutely confident” Mercedes will hit its target of a 7-percent return on sales in 2007. He said he’s also confident that the long-awaited profitability of DaimlerChrysler’s smart division will finally appear, declaring that “Smart will be profitable, starting this year.”
2007 Geneva Auto Show by TCC Team (2/27/2007)
Volvo V70, BMW 5er, Jaguar XJ, Mazda2 and more.
DC, BMW Joins on Rear-Drive Hybrids by Marty Padgett (3/1/2007)
Joint system for big luxury vehicles.
Magna, FAW On Short List for Chrysler? by Joseph Szczesny (2/28/2007)
Supplier, Chinese companies linked to sale efforts.
Analysts: Chrysler Sale Could Be Tough by Joseph Szczesny (2/25/2007)
DC spiffing up assets regardless of move.