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Marchionne: Chrysler IPO possible in 2011

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne says the automaker will consider an initial public offering (IPO) of stock in the new company next year. He also said he expects Fiat S.p.A. to increase its stake in the company to 25% after the introduction of the U.S.-market Fiat 500 which will be built in Chrysler’s Toluca, Mexico, assembly plant.

Marchionne went on to say he will let General Motors be the first to test the waters with an IPO. The largest American automaker has been considering offering stock as early as late this year. Referring to Ed Whitacre, chairman and CEO of GM, Marchionne was quoted in Automotive News as saying, “Let him go, he’s been itching to go. I spoke to Ed a while back, he wants to go public.”

Stock offerings would be advantageous for both car companies as they would allow the U.S. and Canadian governments and the United Auto Workers Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) to monetize their holdings and would allow Chrysler and GM to be relieved of government oversight.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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