Bailout Watch 448: Fiat Denies ChryCo Debt Assumption

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

I think it’s important to realize that the Detroit bailout is no longer an ideological battle. At the beginning of this $40 b-b-b-billion boondoggle (and counting), Motown-fed politicians defended the bailout by screaming “jobs! jobs! jobs!” even though the automakers themselves were screaming no such thing (aware as they no doubt were that those jobs! jobs! jobs! were doomed! doomed! doomed!). Now, you hear very little regarding “saving the middle class.” In fact, the rhetoric claiming we need to shell out for the domestics because “we must protect America’s industrial base” has also gone away. Now, Detroit’s new New Deal rests on a green platform (i.e., EVs), and depends entirely on “viability.” In other words, getting our freaking money back. Only not.

Ladies and gentlemen, the auto bailout bullet train has left the station. Suppliers get $5B. ChryCo and GM get umpteen more billions. To not provide the money would be to turn our back on our “investment.” So now the bailout is about what it was always really about: the transfer of power. The Presidential Task Force on Autos (PTFOA) is like the TVA; the feds have wrested the reins of power over a huge chunk of the US auto industry from their mismanagers, and they ain’t letting go until someone somewhere forces them to.

So the news that ChryCo’s CEO claimed that Fiat had agreed to assume 35 percent of Chrysler’s debt— countered by Fiat’s no NSFW way— means nothing. It simply shows that either A) Bob Nardelli misspoke (Fiat gets 35 percent of Chrysler’s shares) or B) the CEO will do anything to keep sucking on the federal teat.

Silly man. Someone should tell Mr. Nardelli that the Detroit bailout is no longer about him or Chrysler per se. He’s nothing more than a political pawn. OK, a federal employee. So chillax, Bob. Chyrsler’s future is in someone else’s hands.

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  • Carlos.negros Carlos.negros on Mar 20, 2009

    As the saying goes, the worst lies are built on the truth. Yes, FIAT is years ahead of Chrysler in the building of small cars. Yes, FIAT makes attractive products that have been successful in countries like Brazil, Argentina, Spain, France, Greece, and Italy. But what does Chrysler have that FIAT could possibly want? The UAW? Minivans? A terrible reputation? If FIAT has extra money they need to launder, why pick Chrysler?

  • Guyincognito Guyincognito on Mar 20, 2009

    Sounds plausible to me. FIAT will most assuredly assume 35% of Chryslers debt, in the form of a cash payment from US taxpayers to be paid back, eventually.

  • Kat Laneaux Agree with Michael500, we wasted all that money just to bail out GM and they are developing these cars in China and other countries. What the heck. I understand the cheap labor but that is just another foothold the government has on their citizens and they already treat them like crap. That is pretty disgusting to go forward to put other peoples health and mental stability on a crazy crazed, control freak, leader, who is in bed with Russia. Thought about getting a buick but that just shot that one out of the park. All of this for the greed. They get what they lay in bed with. Disgusting.
  • Michael500 Good thing Obama used $50 billion of taxpayer money to bail them out and give unions a big stake. GM is headed to BK again with their Hail Mary hope of EVs. Hopefully a Republican in office will let them go BK the next time, and it's coming. The US economy is not related/dependent on GM and their Chinese made Buicks.
  • MaintenanceCosts "Rural areas hardly noticed COVID at all."I very much doubt that is true in places like the Navajo Nation or the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, some of which lost 2% or more of their population to COVID.No city had a death rate in the same order of magnitude.Low-density living is a very modern invention. Before cars, people, even in agricultural areas, needed to live densely to survive.
  • Wjtinfwb Always liked these MN12 cars and the subsequent Lincoln variant. But Ford, apparently strapped for resources or cash, introduced these half-baked. Very sophisticated chassis and styling, let down but antiquated old pushrod engines and cheap interiors. The 4.6L Modular V8 helped a bit, no faster than the 5.0 but extremely smooth and quiet. The interior came next, nicer wrap-around dash, airbags instead of the mouse belts and refined exterior styling. The Supercharged 3.8L V6 was potent, but kind of crude and had an appetite for head gaskets early on. Most were bolted to the AOD automatic, a sturdy but slow shifting gearbox made much better with electronic controls in the later days. Nice cars that in the right color, evoked the 6 series BMW, at least the Thunderbird did. Could have been great cars and maybe should have been a swoopy CLS style sedan. Pretty hard to find a decent one these days.
  • Inside Looking Out You should care. With GM will die America. All signs are there. How about the Arsenal of Democracy? Toyota?