Fiat, Chrysler Reach Agreement

Chrysler has said the proposed deal could be worth as much as $10 billion.

Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne said on March 30 a tie-up with Chrysler would boost the struggling U.S. auto giant and help save U.S. jobs. "We've reached a framework agreement" on a preliminary deal reached in January, Shawn Morgan, a Chrysler spokesman, said. "It's one step closer to the definitive agreement," he said.

The two companies in January signed a preliminary deal for Fiat to take a 35% stake in Chrysler.

"I would like to publicly thank President Obama ... for his encouragement to finalize a sound alliance between Chrysler and Fiat," Marchionne said. "Our alliance will not only make Chrysler a stronger company financially but it will also help preserve American jobs, significantly accelerate Chrysler's efforts to produce fuel efficient vehicles and lead to a more rapid repayment of US taxpayer dollars," he said.

Earlier in Washington, Chrysler said it was making progress in tie-up talks with Fiat, a deal the U.S. government said the company had to finalise within 30 days or face bankruptcy. Chrysler has said the proposed deal could be worth as much as $10 billion.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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