2007 Cerberus Sale: The official letter to employees

On August 3, 2007, the deal was finalized. Tom LaSorda sent this message to employees:

Today is a landmark day in Chrysler’s history. With the signing of a contract, it’s now official: we are part of the Cerberus family.

This completion of the deal marks the beginning of a historic opportunity for us to build a company that can compete with the best in the world. It’s truly a day to recommit the full talent and passion of our great people!

There’s a lot to be excited about, and on Monday we’ll take some time to celebrate our beginning as a new company. I know that in some parts of our organization the transition to The New Chrysler will take time, with new legal entities to be formed, and even new offices to be established in some places. But regardless of location, everyone at The New Chrysler can look forward to a unique and exciting opportunity ahead.

After months of uncertainty, then a period of transition, we are beginning a new chapter in Chrysler’s proud history -– and we have the chance to write a terrific story. With Cerberus, we have a new majority owner focused on our long-term success. And with Daimler retaining a significant minority stake, we have a strong automotive partner with which we share several common projects and strategic interests.

We are now a privately held company, a status that will generate significant benefits as we rebuild our business. Going private means we can bring a laser-like focus to our business and make the long-term investments needed to compete, free from financial market pressures to generate short-term results. We also will be more open to new partnerships and alliances, and will be able to move faster to leverage these opportunities to accelerate our growth.

Going private does not mean going silent. We will continue to actively engage our employees, dealers, suppliers, community leaders and other stakeholders to enhance our competitive situation. Our commitment to diversity in our work force, supply base and dealer network will be stronger than ever as we focus on growth in our home and international markets. The Chrysler Foundation, newly named to reflect our new structure, will continue to support charitable organizations in communities where we live, work and do business. We pledge to continue our proud heritage as a "Good Neighbor, Good Citizen."

In addition to Chrysler, Cerberus has significant investments in more than 50 companies that generate more than $60 billion in revenues worldwide. Cerberus has a deep pool of operational expertise that we can draw on to face our challenges and achieve our goals. Our new owners have high expectations of performance and have expressed confidence that we can get the job done.

To sum up: we have a fresh start, with a clear mandate for success. Now it’s up to us to make it happen.

We already have begun implementing our blueprint for success -– the Recovery and Transformation Plan (RTP). The RTP is not just an initiative –- it is how we will run the company in the years ahead. The plan addresses every area of our business and increases accountability for results. The RTP also evolves our business model to sharpen our focus on products and brands, to accelerate global growth and to leverage alliances that allow us to react quickly and efficiently to opportunities around the world.

Today, the distractions of the past few months are gone. We can -– and must –- focus on the aspects of our business that will ultimately determine our success. We must create great products that our customers are proud to buy and an ownership experience that keeps them coming back. Our quality must exceed the expectations of our customers –- because in the end, their opinion is the one that matters most. Simply put, quality must be in everything we do. We must deliver on our commitment to increased fuel economy and advanced powertrains, such as our new series of fuel-efficient V-6 engines, while also embracing other efforts of environmental stewardship. To profitably grow our business, we must build our presence in emerging markets and in those countries where we currently have only a modest presence. And we will continue to develop more alliances and partnerships to support these efforts.

Together, we have a bright future to look forward to as we bring together the tremendous capabilities of our people in common purpose. And 100 years from now, people will look back on this day as the rebirth of a truly great company.

Tom

More: Chrysler under Cerberus

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