Chrysler Halfway Through Asset Fire Sale
"One advantage of private ownership is that we can sell nonearning assets to generate cash," Chrysler President and Vice Chairman Tom LaSorda told the Detroit Free Press. "To date, we've identified over $1 billion in non-earning assets and we're more than halfway to achieving that goal." Of course, another advantage of private ownership is that Chrysler doesn't have to reveal financial information, so why advertise the fire sale? "It has a lot to do with the media," LaSorda claimed. "They like to write about us and other auto makers who post $15.5 billion or an $8.7 billion loss just to get a few headlines." A more likely motivation: heading off further cuts to ChryCo's credit ratings. At the same time, LaSorda announced a forthcoming $1.8b spend to make the Jefferson North Assembly Plant more environmentally friendly, develop new cars and keep 400 jobs in Michigan. The green initiative– including energy management systems, efficient lighting and the use of solid waste and paint sludge for energy– will clear the way for Jefferson North to build a new, car-based (i.e. brand dilluting) Jeep Grand Cherokee, scheduled to debut in 2010.