Chrysler turns a profit

The $116 million in net income posted by Chrysler Group LLC in the first quarter this year is the first profit achieved by the company since it parted ways with its former owner, Germany’s Daimler AG, in June 2009

The $116 million in net income posted by Chrysler Group LLC in the first quarter this year is the first profit achieved by the company since it parted ways with its former owner, Germany’s Daimler AG, in June 2009.

Chrysler noted net revenues jumped 35% in the first quarter this year to $13.1 billion due to increased volumes, what it called “positive pricing,” and its mix of 16 all-new or significantly refreshed models.

“Chrysler Group’s improved sales and financial performance in the first quarter show that our rejuvenated product lineup is gaining momentum in the marketplace and resonating with customers,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler’s CEO.

“These results are a testament to the hard work and dedication of our employees, suppliers and dealers, all of whom are helping Chrysler create a new corporate culture built on the quality of our products and processes, and simple, sound management principles,” he said.

The company added that its worldwide vehicle sales topped 394,000 units in the first quarter, up 18% over the same quarter in 2010.

Italy’s Fiat also increased its ownership stake in Chrysler from 25% to 30% based upon these positive performance achievements and it plans to increase that stake another 16% if Chrysler refinances and concurrently fully repays its loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments during the second quarter of 2011.

Eventually, Fiat plans to own 51% of Chrysler should it achieve all of its performance targets by the fourth quarter this year. Those targets include posting net revenues of $55 billion or more for 2011 as well as net income of $200 million to $500 million for the year, Fiat noted.

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