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Chrysler Lost $4 Billion but Sees Signs of Improvement  

2010-04-21 22:21:39|  分类: 历史与文化 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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By NICK BUNKLEY
Published: April 21, 2010

DETROIT — Chrysler said Wednesday that it had lost $4 billion since emerging from bankruptcy protection almost a year ago. But it also reported positive cash flow and a small operating profit in the first quarter of 2010.

The results are the first official look at the U.S. automaker’s finances since it came out of bankruptcy June 10 under the control of the Italian automaker Fiat.

The chief executive of both companies, Sergio Marchionne, said Chrysler is on track to meet its 2010 targets, including a break-even-or-better performance, when excluding one-time charges. On that basis, Chrysler earned $143 million in the first quarter on revenue of $9.7 billion.

Counting one-off charges, Chrysler lost $197 million in the first quarter, mostly due to interest payments, compared with a $2.5 billion loss in the fourth quarter.

Chrysler also said it had $7.4 billion in cash on hand as of March 31, about $1.5 billion more than it had at the end of 2009.

Separately, Fiat reported a first quarter net loss of ?25 million, or $34 million, significantly narrower than the ?410 million of a year earlier. But the shares fell as many analysts had expected a small profit.

Sales rose to ?12.9 billion, from ?11.3 billion.

The figures were released ahead of the presentation of Fiat Group’s five-year business plan, expected to include a spinoff of its automotive unit, which produces the flagship Fiat brand.

The operating profit at Chrysler occurred even as its sales in the United States continued to decline, while many of its competitors began to report large year-over-year gains. Chrysler’s market share was 9.2 percent in the first quarter, down two points from a year earlier but up one point from the fourth quarter.

Mr. Marchionne said he expects improvement in Chrysler’s sales and balance sheet in the coming months.

“This positive operating result in the first quarter is a concrete indication to our customers, dealers and suppliers that the 2010 targets we have set for ourselves are achievable,” Mr. Marchionne said in a statement. “We are also generating cash to finance the investments being made in our product portfolio and brand repositioning.”

From June 10 to Dec. 31, the company lost $3.8 billion and had revenue of $17.7 million. It said $2.1 billion of that loss was a charge related to the trust fund that took over coverage of health care for United Automobile Workers retirees on Jan. 1. The rest was blamed largely on its steep decline in sales and “significant start-up costs.”

Mr. Marchionne said Chrysler has been strengthening its liquidity since bankruptcy through “improving trading margins, operational efficiencies and rigorous cost discipline.” The company said it has $2.4 billion remaining in its credit lines from the United States and Canadian governments.

Unlike General Motors across town, Chrysler is not in a position to begin paying back the money it borrowed from taxpayers and made no mention of repayment. Mr. Marchionne has previously said Chrysler would pay back the loans by 2014.

G.M. on Wednesday said it has paid off its $8.2 billion debt to the United States and Canada in full, five years ahead of its original repayment schedule. The company’s chairman and chief executive, Edward E. Whitacre, planned to make the announcement during a visit to G.M.’s assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas.

(Mr. Whitacre also planned to reveal a $257 million investment in the Kansas plant and one in Michigan to build the next version of the Chevrolet Malibu sedan.)

G.M. did not repay all the $50 billion it borrowed from the United States. Most of that amount was converted to a 61 percent equity stake held by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Chrysler is 10 percent owned by the U.S. Treasury.

Chrysler Lost 4 Billion but Sees Signs of Improvement - 雪山飞狐 - JOKUL VOLANT TOD

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

A 2010 Chrysler Sebring convertible on display at the Denver auto show this month.

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