You know the President has a reassuring way about him, when he’s able to make Chrysler’s bankruptcy sound so darn good. Why, watching his press conference, for a while one might not have even realized Chrysler was going to file for bankruptcy, as it took something like 7 minutes before the “B” word was even uttered by the President.
I mean, how great does this sound?:
After consulting with my auto task force, industry experts, and financial advisors, I decided to give Chrysler and Fiat 30 days to reach an agreement. The standard I set was high: I challenged them to design a plan that would protect American jobs, American taxpayers, and the future of a great American car company.
But over the past month, seemingly insurmountable obstacles have been overcome. And Chrysler’s most important stakeholders, from the United Auto Workers to Chrysler’s largest lenders, from its own — from its former owners to its suppliers, have agreed to make major sacrifices.
So, today, I am pleased to announce that Chrysler and Fiat have formed a partnership that has a strong chance of success. It’s a partnership that will save more than 30,000 jobs at Chrysler and tens of thousands of jobs at suppliers, dealers, and other businesses that rely on this company. It’s a partnership that the federal government will support by making additional loans that are consistent with what I outlined last month.
As part of their agreement, every dime of new taxpayer money will be repaid before Fiat can take a majority ownership stake in Chrysler. In addition, considering Chrysler’s extensive operation in Canada, the government of Canada is also committing resources to ensure that Chrysler has a chance to succeed, and we’re working closely with them.
It’s a partnership that will give Chrysler a chance not only to survive, but to thrive in a global auto industry. Fiat has demonstrated that it can build the clean, fuel-efficient cars that are the future of the industry. And as part of this agreement, Fiat has already agreed to transfer billions of dollars in cutting-edge technology to Chrysler to help them do the same.
Fiat’s also committed to working with Chrysler to build new fuel- efficient cars and engines right here in America.
Now, this partnership was only possible because of unprecedented sacrifices on the part of Chrysler’s stakeholders, who are willing to give something up so that this company and all the men and women whose livelihoods depend on it might see a better day…
Kind of makes everyone wish they could go bankrupt, too!
Now, it turns out that the bankruptcy will put some Chrysler workers out of work–at least temporarily–as the plants shut down during the reorganization. As the workers put it, the “roller coaster” for them isn’t quite over. But I’m sure many of these Chrysler employees are just happy they haven’t (yet) been asked to step off the ride.