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Chrysler ‘is well placed for revival’

DaimlerChrysler's sale of Chrysler to a private investment company will position the brand for a revival in fortunes.

Chrysler Group UK managing director Peter Lambert has written to his 93-strong franchised dealer network to reassure them that acquisition by Cerberus Capital Management would have a positive impact. He told them that it was “very much business as usual” and that Chrysler’s UK operation would continue in Milton Keynes with the same team as before.

“We are sure that you will agree that this is great news for our customers, employees and the dealer network. It is a real vote of confidence for Chrysler Group and the success of the international side of the business. Cerberus very much wants everyone in our dealer network to feel secure in their future with a stronger Chrysler,” Lambert said.

“In the coming days, we will be discussing the practicalities in more detail with the executive team in the US and will communicate this with our dealer network.”

Cerberus Capital Management this week secured an 80.1% stake in Chrysler for $7.4bn (£3.7bn), a fraction of the $36bn (£18bn) DC bought it for in 1998. The seller, which will rename itself Daimler AG, retained the remaining 19.9% stake and will continue co-operation with Chrysler on some future projects.

Under the deal, Daimler will receive $1.3bn from Cerberus, but will contribute $2bn to the new company – a net loss of $650m (£328m). Its cash and the balance from the Cerberus purchase will be invested into Chrysler’s industrial and financial businesses. The deal saw Chrysler’s new owners take on its pension and healthcare liabilities.

John Snow, chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, has said he is behind Chrysler chief executive Tom LaSorda’s plans. Taking the business private will allow management to focus on the day-to-day business of producing cars, outside of the quarterly reports and analysts reports, said Snow.

Cerberus also has a 51% stake in GMAC, the financial arm of General Motors.

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