Chrysler finished 2011 with a profit, its first since emerging bankruptcy

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 1, 2012

In the fourth quarter of 2011, Chrysler Group posted a net income of $225 million as rising U.S. sales propelled the automaker to its first annual profit after having emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. In a recent report, Chrysler said that the profit in the fourth quarter reflected a $424 million swing from reporting a net loss of $199 million during the same quarter of 2010.

For the entire 2011, Chrysler had a net income of $183 million during a year when it repaid its government bailout loans and taken the U.S. market share.

In comparison, the company had a net loss of $652 million in 2010. Chrysler became profitable once again based on the power of a much-enhanced product lineup, leaner production costs, and the expanding global strength of its Jeep brand and other vehicles. In the U.S. last year, Chrysler sold 1.37 million light vehicles – about 26 percent higher.

Meanwhile, the market had grown by 10 percent. Chrysler sold 1.85 million vehicles in 2011, about 22 percent higher than in 2010. The automaker sold 479,000 units during the fourth quarter, about 28 percent higher than the same period the past year. Chrysler had an annual profit even after incurring a $551 million charge in the second quarter to refinance its loans from the United States, Canada, and Ontario provincial governments.

With the assistance of those loans, Chrysler emerged from a brief stint in U.S. bankruptcy court under the control of Fiat S.p.A. in June 2009. Fiat presently owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler. The revenues in the fourth-quarter increased by 41 percent to $15.1 billion. Chrysler posted revenues for 2011 of $55 billion, about 31 percent higher than in 2010.

There has been at least 4 million Fiat 500 produced over the course of 20 years. The Fiat 500 is very distinct with its egg-like and round body. Part of its initial success when it was introduced in the late 1950s was the fact that it addressed the need for sensible transportation demanded by the masses in Italy. The affordable Fiat 500 took its rear engine design from the Volkswagen Beetle.

Dante Giacosa designed the Fiat 500. Giacosa was known as one of the best Fiat designers and he also delved into the engineering. Widely known as a pragmatic and affordable car, the Nuova 500 was launched in July 1957. It was among the first city cars and was available until 1960. Giacosa wanted the engine at the back of the car to give the small car a more spacious interior. The Nuova 500 had a two-cylinder engine that was smaller than other models and delivered only 13 bhp. The Nuova also had a fabric roof that opened back to the rear, which is reminiscent of the Citroën 2CV. The Nuova was among the three models that sported 'suicide doors'. It also came with a Sport version that featured a red stripe and a more powerful engine.

The four-seater 500 had an air-cooled 479cc flat twin that was later made more powerful to give 499cc. It had top speeds of 55mph and weighed only 1,100 pounds. The widely popular car had a 72.4 inch wheelbase that generally measured 116.9 inches long, 52 inches wide and high. It had a Cx of 0.38, making it one of the most aerodynamic cars during its time.

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