Fiat already owns 58.5% of Chrysler’s shares, with the remaining 41.5% held by a United Auto Workers union trust fund that pays health care bills for retirees.
Chrysler Group said its first-quarter net income quadrupled on surging sales as the automaker set a profit target of $1.5 billion for the year. Chrysler earned $473 million in the January-March period, up from $116 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 25% to $16.4 billion as U.S. vehicle sales increased 39%.
This is the first contract since Chrysler’s government bailout and trip to bankruptcy court two years ago, and the first since management of the company was taken over by Italian automaker Fiat SpA.
Univision and Telemundo outlets are the recipients of Chrysler’s just announced campaign for the Ram truck brand — its largest commitment to Hispanic media. The campaing will include TV, radio, print (including newspapers) and digital media and will take hold in 15 markets with large Hispanic populations, with versions in both English and Spanish.
General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group extended their existing labor contracts with the UAW after failing to agree on new deals by a midnight Wednesday deadline. GM said talks will resume today at 10 a.m. ET.
The move, expected in the second quarter, will give the Italian automaker 46% of Chrysler and is called “a fundamental step toward completion of the momentous integration of Fiat and Chrysler,” by the CEO of both companies.
Chrysler dealers, psyched by the Super Bowl spot featuring rapper Eminem, are trying to turn the commercial’s buzz into sales. They are buying local ads, blasting e-mails to customers, printing T-shirts and reaching out to customers in other ways to ride the wave.
Ford Motor Co. says its U.S. sales rose 15% in 2010, while Chrysler today reported that its U.S. sales rose 17% last year, helped by purchases from rental car companies and strong demand for its new Jeep.