Chrysler Group LLC had its best sales this quarter since it came out of bankruptcy in 2009 with its phenomenal North American sales! It is well on its way to make a profit of $1.5 billion in 2012. Fiat's (FIATY.PK) stake in Chrysler is 58.5 percent. The remaining 41.5 percent is owned by the retiree healthcare trust affiliated with the United Auto Workers union, which represents the company's U.S. hourly workers. Chrysler Group LLC, which formed a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, SRT, Fiat and Mopar vehicles and products.
First-quarter net income of $473 million was up from $116 million a year ago. Looks at these statistics:
- Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan sets a monthly sales record; March sales up 121 percent
- Chrysler 300 flagship sedan posts triple-digit year-over-year sales gain
- Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans each post double-digit sales gains
- Jeep brand sales up 36 percent; best March sales since 2007
- Jeep Grand Cherokee sales up 43 percent; best March sales in six years
- All Jeep brand models log year-over-year sales gains
- Dodge brand sales up 18 percent; best March since 2008 and 10th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains
- Iconic Dodge Challenger muscle car sets all-time monthly sales record
- Dodge Journey sets monthly sales record
- Ram pickup truck sales up 18 percent; best March sales in four years
- FIAT brand sets a monthly sales record; sales up 642 percent versus same month a year ago
Okay, if things are going so good, when is Chrysler going public so we can all benefit form these sales figures? It was back in summer of 2009 that CEO Sergio Marchionne said it would be no less than 2 ½ years. Marchionne obviously wants to hold off on going public until he and Chrysler's board of directors feel the company will command the appropriate value. This is understandable.
Well keep holding your breath! Almost three years later when asked if it will open up its IPO in 2012 Sergio said, "It's unlikely, that's the best answer I can give you." Marchionne, who orchestrated Fiat's management takeover of the U.S. automaker, has been the architect of Chrysler's revival after its bankruptcy funded by the Obama administration.
Under the bankruptcy agreement, the VEBA can demand a registration of its equity in Chrysler in January 2013. Marchionne said an IPO was unlikely before that date.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.