Chrysler to Bank $2 Billion as Sales Surge

'The house is in good order,' says CEO Marchionne.

Chrysler is poised to rake in almost $2 billion in cash this year after sales of cars and trucks soared in 2011, said Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive of Fiat and, on Jan. 9

"We're generating cash. The house is in good order," Marchionne said at the annual Detroit auto show. He estimated "almost two billion" would flow into the Fiat-controlled company's coffers.

The company raised its 2011 forecast of cash flow to more than $1.2 billion from previous estimate of above $1.0 billion when it reported in October a swing into profit in the third quarter.

Last week the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company posted the biggest 2011 gain in U.S. vehicle sales among its major competitors: a jump of 26% from the prior year.

Confirming that by 2015, Fiat and Chrysler "will be one single company," Marchionne said that operationally "it is already functioning as one company."

Marchionne said the next steps will involve defining the corporate structure of the transatlantic firm. The decision on where to locate the future company's headquarters has not been made, but he confirmed media reports that it could be in the Netherlands.

"The Europeans would see it as a victory" and "the Americans wouldn't care" as long as Chrysler remains a viable company, he said.

Fiat took over operational command of the automaker in June 2009, when Chrysler emerged from a government-supported bankruptcy. In June 2011, it took a majority stake and now controls 58.5% of the company.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

See Also
Ford and Chrysler Rack Up Strong Gains in 2011

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