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Chrysler Group LLC Completes Refinancing and Repays U.S. and Canadian Government Loans in Full

More than six years ahead of schedule, Chrysler Group fulfills promise to taxpayers and repays original government loans totaling $6.7 billion, in addition to $1.8 billion of interest and other consideration

Intervention by U.S. and Canadian governments and strategic alliance with Fiat leads to 16 all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles currently in dealerships; more than $3 billion in facility upgrades; and increased employment with the hiring of 6,000 Chrysler Group employees

Company’s return to profitability and double-digit worldwide sales increases show new product lineup gaining momentum in marketplace

Auburn Hills, Mich. , May 24, 2011 -
Chrysler Group LLC today announced the repayment of $7.6 billion in outstanding U.S. and Canadian government loans following the completion of new refinancing transactions. The original loans were repaid in full, more than six years ahead of schedule, along with the payment of accrued interest and additional consideration.

Today, the Company made payments of $5.9 billion to the U.S. Treasury (UST) and $1.7 billion to Export Development Canada (EDC) to retire the loans granted when Chrysler Group began operations in June 2009. EDC is the holding company through which the Canadian federal and Ontario provincial governments extended loans to Chrysler Group.

The Company borrowed $5.1 billion from the UST and $1.6 billion from the Canadian governments in June 2009 ($2.6 billion from the original loan facilities was undrawn and the facilities will be canceled). In total, Chrysler Group has paid the UST $6.5 billion and the EDC $2.0 billion, including $1.8 billion in interest and additional consideration.

“Less than two years ago, we made a commitment to repay the U.S. and Canadian taxpayers in full and today we made good on that promise,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler Group LLC. “The loans gave us a rare second chance to demonstrate what the people of this Company can deliver and we owe a debt of gratitude to those whose intervention allowed Chrysler Group to re-establish itself as a strong and viable carmaker.

“Paying back the loans, along with the financial community’s investment in our refinancing packages, marks another step in the Company returning as a competitive force in the global automotive industry.”

Chrysler Group confirmed the completion of new financing transactions consisting of a term loan totaling $3.0 billion, debt securities totaling $3.2 billion and a revolving credit facility of $1.3 billion. The new financing will save Chrysler Group an estimated $350 million a year in interest expenses.

The Company used the net proceeds from the term loan and bonds, together with $1.3 billion from an equity call option exercised by Fiat for an incremental 16 percent fully diluted ownership interest, to repay the government loans. The revolving credit facility remains undrawn.

Chrysler Group continues to have more than $10 billion in liquidity after the refinancing and loan payoffs, which includes the undrawn revolving credit facility.

“Everyone in the extended Chrysler Group family, from employees to union partners to dealers and suppliers, have worked tirelessly to deliver on our promises and to win back public trust in the Company and our products," said Marchionne. "There is more work to be done as we remain focused on fulfilling the goals outlined in our 2010-2014 business plan.”

Goldman, Sachs Co. advised Chrysler Group on structuring the financings and Evercore Partners advised the Company's Finance Committee.

About Chrysler Group LLC

Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group’s culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat’s complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.

Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group’s product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Challenger and Ram 1500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.

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Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne, right, Assistant to President Obama for Manufacturing Policy Ron A. Bloom, center, and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese joined UAW representatives and employees at Chrysler Group's Sterling Heights (Michigan) Assembly Plant during a celebratory event to formally acknowledge and express gratitude for the financial support from the United States and Canadian governments on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. More than six years ahead of schedule, Chrysler Group fulfilled its promise to American and Canadian taxpayers and repaid in full its government loans, totaling $6.7 billion in addition to $1.8 billion in interest and additional notes.

SERGIO MARCHIONNE, Repayment Day, Sterling Heights Assembly Plant
Date: May 24, 2011 , Sterling Heights, Mich.

Thank you Ron for your remarks today, but more importantly for being here together with Brian Deese, to celebrate this moment.

I can tell you, having spent a lot of time in Washington in 2009, especially with Ron, that there were no stronger advocates for the survival of Chrysler than Brian and Ron.

They took on a number of skeptics who saw another fate for Chrysler, and we are very fortunate that their views prevailed.

And good afternoon to all of you - dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, elected officials and honored guests.
Thank you for being with us on this important day.

June 10th, 2009, barely two years ago but what now appears to be a distant past, represented a new beginning for all of us:
- for me, who had just arrived at Chrysler, to begin the turnaround;
- for you, who had all been through several trying months and even years, full of trepidation and uncertainty;
- and, for the Chrysler organization as a whole, a Chrysler that had just emerged from bankruptcy and one of the darkest periods in its history.

And even though we knew little about each other then, we all hoped that somehow we would rebuild this company and restore it to its rightful place.

We were united by the same passion – the kind of passion that only great projects can inspire.

It was a day of celebration because, after months of uncertainty, we finally knew we had a chance to build a future.

We were encouraged by the fact that someone believed in us and from that moment forward we were able to take our destiny back into our own hands.

That joy was conditioned by the sense of responsibility we all shared.

Not just for the privilege we had been given of helping get an American icon back on its feet, but more importantly for our moral obligation to justify the support that American and Canadian taxpayers had given us.

We knew we had to live up to the expectations of those who had made sacrifices on our behalf.

On that day, we made a promise to our fellow citizens, in both the U.S. and Canada, that we would succeed, that we would repay their trust.

The promise was not only to them, it was first of all to ourselves.

I am pleased to announce that, significantly in advance of the initial plan and little more than 23 months from that momentous day, we fulfilled our promise.

We received confirmation this morning at 10.13 am from Citigroup that Chrysler Group repaid, with interest, by wire transfer to the United States Treasury and by bank transfer to the Canadian government, every penny that had been loaned less than two years ago.

It happens rarely in life that we are given a second chance.

We are fully aware that those credit facilities gave us such a chance, enabling us to begin the important work that needed to be done.

We are still very grateful:
- to President Obama and his Administration;
- to the Automotive Task Force;
- to the U.S., Canadian and Ontario governments and taxpayers;
- to our unions, who have partnered with us in this recovery;
- to Fiat for its engagement as an alliance partner, and for its equity investment in Chrysler;
- and for what were, in many cases, huge sacrifices made by many of our stakeholders.

I received a phone call this morning from Vice President Biden congratulating Chrysler on having achieved this significant milestone, and I had the opportunity to once again thank him and President Obama’s administration for the faith they placed in us two years ago.

On this day, I want to take the opportunity to publicly thank the leadership team here at Chrysler, the 25 people with whom I have had the privilege of working closely for the last 23 months in getting us this far. Without them, we would not be here.

Please stand up and be recognized.

In particular, this day would not have been possible without the tireless efforts and dedication of two individuals on our leadership team, Holly Leese, our General Counsel and Richard Palmer, our Chief Financial Officer. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude for their selfless dedication to Chrysler, and to this repayment project.

Every single day for these past two years, we have been conscious of the moral responsibility we have to all of those individuals and organizations and we have put our all into demonstrating that their sacrifice and investment was worthwhile.

I remember how analysts and the press reacted when we announced that within a very short period of time we would fully renew our product range and get our financials back into shape.

I remember the skeptical and patronizing looks on their faces.

Looks like the one you might give a child when he announces that he’s going to be an astronaut when he grows up.

Well – we did it!

We dared to dream big, and we delivered on that dream.

We have presented 16 all-new products in just 19 months.

We have begun to completely overhaul our production processes, introducing the highest quality standards in the world at all of our plants.

We have undertaken a profound transformation of our organization, introducing a new culture, based on meritocracy and accountability.

These principles have become a core part of our corporate philosophy.

A philosophy where merit prevails over whom you know.

Leadership over authority.

The pursuit of excellence over mediocrity.

The spirit of competition over ego-centricity.

And reliability over idle promises.

These values form part of who we are today and they need to be protected and preserved.

In the face of constant change, the sense of values we have, enables us to be resilient, to stay true to the important principles of life that have no borders: justice, integrity, honesty, and respect for others.

These values guide our everyday choices and remind us of the importance of making those choices with rigor and commitment, and with full awareness of the consequences that they can have.

They are also the best guarantee for our individual futures and the future of Chrysler.

It is these values and our hard work that have produced results.

We are achieving consistent, solid share gains in all of our markets.

We closed Q1 this year with the first positive bottom line result since the new Chrysler was born.

We are changing both the image and substance of our group and are regaining the faith of the public at large and, even more importantly, of our customers.

This impressive about-face prompted one commentator to say that we have gone from “third world to world class”.

We knew it would not be easy.

All of us remember that until just a short time ago, in the eyes of most, Chrysler had been condemned to death.

It wasn’t going to be easy to regain confidence from a world that had seemingly turned its back on us.

And for many of you, it was not easy to choose to stay here, when some of your co-workers, who thought they were working on the S.S. Titanic, chose to abandon ship even before the band had stopped playing.

But “easy” is not a label you can give to anything truly worth doing.

And building a new Chrysler definitely is something worth doing: for us, for our children, for everyone who has trusted us.

The past two years have also taught us a lot.

They have made us more conscious of our abilities and confident in ourselves.

They have taught us that the only difference between the possible and the impossible is that the impossible has never been done before.

This morning I wrote a letter to all Chrysler employees that you have probably received already and, if not, you shortly will.

Then I decided that I couldn’t stay in my office. Not today.

I felt the need to come here and meet you.

Today is one of those days you want to share with those who made it a reality.

That is why it was very important to me to come here and speak with you, to all of you, in person and with all your co-workers who are watching this from the other plants.

I wanted to thank you, each and everyone of you, for what you have done.

The “PAID” buttons we made are more than just a souvenir to mark today, more than simply an object that you pull out in 20 years’ time to say “I was there when Chrysler repaid its debt to the government”.

They are a reminder of what you are capable of achieving.

You have demonstrated that, if confronted with courage and tenacity, no obstacle is insurmountable.

You have demonstrated what can be achieved by the hard work and passion of tens of thousands of people who don’t give in when the going is tough, but rather who dig deep within themselves and find the strength to get back on their feet and move forward.

You have demonstrated the level of pride that exists within Chrysler, through your determination to restore it to its rightful place.

And, above all, you have demonstrated your belief in yourselves and in each other.

That is what the button is about.

Not just repayment…but also faith in who we are and where we are going.

These moments are not just moments of celebration. They are also occasions to reflect on how we got here, and why.

As always happens in life, the hardest, the most difficult moments – when you feel lost and believe there is no longer hope – are also the most meaningful and most character-forming moments, moments that change you forever.

Those who survive, who find the strength and courage to stand and fight, will never be as before.

Survivors are different people, they are special people.

You and I, together with all our other colleagues at Chrysler, are survivors.

And especially you here at SHAP, a plant which in our original plans was slated for closure. A plant which is now looking forward to the introduction of new, state of the art platform which will guarantee it a future for a long time to come.

We have collectively found the strength to fight against the death sentence placed on our company from the very beginning.

We found within ourselves the courage to act and reverse our fate.

And now we are living, day by day, a new life based on what we have learned from that experience.

For that reason, we are special people.

Because we have learned to look at the future in a way different to others.

We have a level of awareness and understanding of the world that is different from anyone else’s, that is rare and precious.

We are capable of appreciating every single moment and every single thing in this new life that has been granted us.

And I urge you to never forget the experience we have been through, but rather to treasure it every day.

Being survivors has not only empowered us to pull out the best in ourselves, in our work and for the company, but it also has had an impact on our personal lives and, in the end, made us better people.

There is an untold story in what we are living.

One that in a sense is too early to tell, and that involves your personal transformation, the transformation of the leaders who have been involved in this revival of Chrysler’s fortunes, and of the people whose lives they hold in their hands.

There are dozens of similar and probably more valid and powerful examples out there: Lou Gerstner’s resurrection of IBM, Robert Oppenheimer’s experiences with the team that built the atomic bomb in the Manhattan project, Bill Clinton’s remarkable victory in the 1992 presidential race. But the common element with all of them is that they leave an indelible mark on the formation and growth of leaders.

They are changed forever.

We have changed forever, because we now know that ultimately, regardless of the circumstances, we have the power to refuse our consent.

We have an obligation to refuse our consent to decay, to disengage from competition, to industrial neglect, to the removal of wasteful activities, because ultimately, consenting to these things is a denial of our right to live and to our obligation to protect the welfare of our people.

The commercial that we aired during this year’s Super Bowl gave a good portrayal of what Chrysler has become today.

A company that has been to hell and back and yet still dares to dream.

A group of people free to venture beyond the ordinary and the expected, free from prejudices and the limitations of habit, free to express their creativity and even break the conventions of what a TV commercial should be.

That spot is homage to the culture of action and to our industrial roots.

It speaks about hard work and results achieved through resilience and tireless efforts.

About people that are not resigned to their destiny but redesign the future for themselves, day after day.

It is not simply a commercial.

It is the embodiment of our spirit.

It portrays our company and its aspirations.

It shows our passion for cars and our desire to create the best.

It embodies the values upon which the American dream was built.

In the end, it expresses the vision that we are making come to pass.

“Imported From Detroit” is a line that has resonated even with those who were not born and raised here, but who understand the grit and determination that underlie this spirit.

Today is a major milestone for Chrysler Group, but our work is by no means finished.

As Winston Churchill said, after the British won an important victory in World War II, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”.

Repayment of the government loans closes an important chapter in our history, but we still have a great deal left to accomplish before regaining our rightful place in the automotive landscape.

Today we can also look forward to an extraordinary transformation that we will undertake together with our Fiat partner.

The alliance is moving forward rapidly and we are doing everything possible to accelerate the pace and bring about, in the shortest possible time, the birth of a single group, bringing even greater stability and strength to the relationship, in the interests of both partners.

An organization capable of fully leveraging each partner’s international capabilities.

An efficient and competitive global automaker, possessing advanced technological know-how and the determination to establish itself as a leader in the sector.

And, above all, a group that offers its employees a more certain future and a challenging environment, where cultural exchange and integration, together with a competitive spirit, provide the ideal conditions for their professional and personal growth.

As I wrote to you this morning, “painters know that every painting, even the greatest masterpieces, begin with splashes of colors on a canvas. They know that giving life to a piece of art is much more a question of inspiration, passion and vision, than just technical skill”.

Chrysler is still in its infancy. Most of the paint is still on the palette and we have to put every effort now in order to complete this momentous integration, with humility, determination and rigor.

But I am confident about our future because we are moving forward with clarity of purpose and we share the same vision and aspiration as to what we would like our company to become.

Not the biggest, just the best.

I am confident because I know that, when all is said and done, an enterprise is nothing more than a collection of the will and aspirations of the people that work in it.

You are creating a Chrysler that you want to be part of -- and the bricks and mortar of that new edifice we call Chrysler are your values, your courage and your passion.

I like what I see.

I am proud to be part of this group, to share in the work and vision that are giving life to this canvas.

Thank you again for what you are doing and for who you are.

And I wish all of us, Godspeed.

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Discussion Starter #3
Chrysler repays most of federal bailout money

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. -- Chrysler Group LLC sent $7.6 billion to the U.S. and Canadian governments on Tuesday, paying off most of the bailout money that saved the company from financial disaster just two years ago.

The repayment was expected for weeks and is another sign of the automaker's comeback. Chrysler went from a company that almost ran out of cash and endured bankruptcy in 2009 to one that is revamping its lineup and last quarter posted its first net profit in five years.

"A lot of us remember that until just a short time ago, in the eyes of most, Chrysler had been condemned to death," CEO Sergio Marchionne told workers gathered at a Chrysler car factory outside Detroit.

Chrysler also removed the stigma of being a government ward. But the repayment means it must stand on its own and continue to overhaul a lineup that still depends on old Chrysler designs and larger vehicles that have fallen out of favor because of high gasoline prices.

The company took $10.5 billion from the U.S. government to survive two years ago, and earlier had repaid some of the money. On Tuesday, it retired a $5.9 billion balance on the U.S. loans and $1.7 billion to the governments of Canada and Ontario.

To pay off the governments, Chrysler raised $3.2 billion through a bond sale and took out $3 billion in lower-interest bank loans. It also will use a $1.3 billion investment from Italian automaker Fiat, which kicked in the money Tuesday to raise its Chrysler stake to 46 percent, making it the largest shareholder.

The U.S. Treasury still owns 6.6 percent of Chrysler, part of the original stake it got in exchange for the bailout.

About $2 billion of the government aid went to parts of Chrysler that were left behind in bankruptcy. That money hasn't been repaid, but some of it could be recouped when the government sells its stake.

Ron Bloom, President Obama's assistant for manufacturing policy, said Chrysler repaid the loans far faster than anyone expected.

"I don't think anybody two years ago would have said this day would happen," he said after the ceremony at a factory in Sterling Heights, Mich., north of Detroit.

The government, he said, will sell its stake as soon as practical, but he conceded the administration doesn't expect to get a "material portion" of the $2 billion back.

Chrysler was eager to pay back its loans in part because of the governments' high interest rates of around 12 percent, which cost the company $1.2 billion last year. The interest rates on the new loans and bonds are 6 percent to 8 percent, saving Chrysler $300 million a year.

The loan repayment lifted the morale of Chrysler workers and dealers who just two years ago came close to losing everything.

Chrysler shut down the Sterling Heights factory, which makes the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger, so that 1,100 workers could watch the ceremony. Cheers erupted when Bloom announced that the money had changed hands. Many employees wore buttons with the word "PAID" on them.


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Whew! Free at last, free at last. Great God Almighty, we're free at last. I am content! :cool:
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