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Chrysler CEO to employees: 'You are the authors of a remarkable story'
Jan. 3, 2012

Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne congratulated Chrysler employees on the company’s achievements in 2011 but warned that the turnaround remains “a work in progress.”

Marchionne said Chrysler and its workers were counted out too easily two years ago when most analysts and journalists said the company had little chance of surviving.

“They underestimated the energy, the capabilities and the composure under crisis that sustain the people who comprise the soul of Chrysler,” Marchionne said in an e-mail to employees obtained by the Free Press.

But through the first 11 months of 2011, Chrysler’s U.S. sales have increased 25% — more than any other major manufacturer.

“Now, the tone of coverage has shifted, focusing on our comeback story and on what matters most, our products,” Marchionne said. “We didn’t get caught up in the press clippings before, and we can’t afford to bask in them now. “

The company also repaid all of its loans to the U.S. and Canadian governments in May, gained market share in the U.S. and Canada and expects to report a profit of about $600 million for 2011.

“You are the authors of a remarkable story in 2011, and I look forward to continuing our journey and writing an exciting new chapter in 2012,” Marchionne told Chrysler employees.

In November 2009, Marchionne unveiled a five-year strategic plan that calls for Fiat and Chrysler to sell nearly 6 million cars and trucks in 2014. Marchionne also is overseeing a full merger of Fiat and Chrysler.

“Our effort to create a viable global car company is still a work in progress, with most of the paint still on the palette,” Marchionne said.

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