Chrysler posts net profit in Q1 2011; Fiat to obtain 51% ownership interest before the end of 2011
Adopts dual clutch transmission and 8-speed rear-wheel drive AT in 2011, 9-speed front-wheel drive A
Chrysler's performance is improving as the U.S. market recovers and with the contribution of the 16 new and significantly refreshed vehicles which Chrysler began building in 2010.
Chrysler ended the year 2010 with net loss of $652 million but its worldwide vehicle sales increased from 1,318,000 to 1,516,000 units, above expectations.
The company registered first quarterly net income ($116 million) for Q1 2011 in approximately five years while vehicle sales in the U.S. increased by 22% from 235,000 to 287,000 units. Chrysler's worldwide vehicle sales in 2011 are expected to increase from 1,516,000 units in 2010 to 2 million units.
In May 2011, Chrysler completed full repayment of approximately $7.6 billion loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments. Consequently, Fiat was allowed to increase ownership interest in Chrysler from 20% at the start of the year to 46% and is expected to further increase to the 51% mark within the year.
Chrysler is actively adopting fuel-efficient technologies as exemplified by the V6 Pentastar engine in 2010 and the 1400cc MultiAir engine in 2011 based on Fiat's technology. As for transmissions, Chrysler has adopted Fiat's dual clutch transmission and the 8-speed rear-wheel drive AT jointly developed by ZF. The company plans to adopt the 9-speed front-wheel drive AT as well in 2013.
Starting in 2012, Chrysler will introduce a series of new models that share platforms with Fiat according to the mid-range business plan announced in November 2009, and is determined to sell 2.8 million units targeted for worldwide vehicle sales in 2014.