Retailers, consumers and prices
Auto show-Rattner: Both GM and Chrysler will survive
(Written by correspondent David Bailey)
Steve Rattner, a key figure in the restructuring of General Motors and Chrysler in bankruptcy last year as the head of the U.S. Treasury autos task force, said Monday he believes that both automakers can survive and repay at least some of the taxpayer money allotted to their bailouts.
“There is a lot of excitement and energy around the whole show and around GM and Chrysler for the first time in a long time and I think that’s great,” Rattner told reporters after touring the Chrysler layout at the Detroit auto showwith Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, who also is the head of Italy’s Fiat.
Chrysler was thrust under the management control of Fiat following the bankruptcy reorganization that was completed in June.
“I feel terrific about the progress that has been made and enormous confidence in both (GM Chairman and CEO) Ed Whitacre and Sergio Marchionne to knock the cover off the ball,” Rattner said. “There is a feeling around here that for the first time in a couple of years we are moving in the right direction and people feel a new sense of enthusiasm.”
Rattner said that without government intervention, both GM and Chrysler would have run out of money and fallen into liquidation, but both can survive.
“We saved tens of thousands of jobs, we saved two iconic companies and this is going to work,” Rattner said. “The companies are not going to go bankrupt again, they are going to be profitable and the government is going to receive a lot of money back, so I think it is a win-win.”
Rattner said it would be unfair to judge Chrysler by the first few months of results following its reorganization.
“The cupboard was bare, they were left with very little product, we knew that, Sergio knew that,” he said. “So, what we look for is what is coming. When you see some of the things that are coming and you see his focus, it gives you a lot of enthusiasm.”
(Reuters photo from 2007)