Chrysler Group hopes to pay off restructuring loans in 2011

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 10, 2011

Within this year, Chrysler Group aims to repay the U.S. and Canadian government loans that it had gotten during its restructuring. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of both automakers, said that he remains committed to the objective to pay them off in 2011. Marchionne pointed out that Chrysler is paying over $1 billion in interest to the Canadian and U.S. taxpayers.

He said that Chrysler didn’t get a free ride and that instead, it had signed up for the most expensive financing possible.

However, he believes that it “was done on the right terms.” Marchionne made these comments in front of reporters last Friday at Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario, assembly plant. Chrysler had celebrated the start of production of the redesigned Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans and the 2011 Dodge Challenger.

After emerging from bankruptcy under Fiat's control in 2009, Chrysler is now looking forward to an initial public offering during the second half of this year. Marchionne said that Chrysler is considering whether to refinance U.S. and Canadian government loans.

He added that it is also looking into Fiat being able to boost its ownership to more than 50% from 20% before the IPO. Chrysler’s third-quarter financial statement revealed that the face value of Chrysler's debts to the U.S. and Canadian governments is about $7.46 billion. [via autonews - sub. required]

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