Volkswagen not Interested in Chrysler

By: Natalie Anderson

In Germany: Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker and maker of renowned auto products like was not spared from the Chrysler selling issue which forces Europe's largest carmaker to release an official statement saying that they are not interested in purchasing the money-losing Chrysler from DaimlerChrysler.



According to Christine Ritz, spokeswoman for Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen AG, that the Europe's largest automaker is not interested in purchasing the US unit of the world's fifth largest automaker if it is really up for sale. Volkswagen is not the only automaker that has expressed its non-interest on Chrysler even Renault-Nissan auto alliance and Hyundai Motor Corporation has stated that they are not interested in buying Chrysler.

DaimlerChrysler AG has released an official statement last week saying that they have laid all options for its US division on the table but they will not conduct a traditional bidding procedure. However they will offer detailed financial information about Chrysler only to selective buyers. The automaker together with its investment bank J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., are working together to explore the possibility of a profitable sale.

According to recent news from Financial Times newspaper there are at least four private-equity groups that have expressed their interest in purchasing Chrysler and even had preliminary talks with DaimlerChrysler. The said four companies are as follows: Apollo Management, the Blackstone Group, Cerberus Capital Management, and the Carlyle Group plus some other European private-equity groups.

It should be noted that the Chrysler Group until a year ago has kept DaimlerChrysler profitable amidst the quality issues at the Mercedes Car Group. The only seen problem for the Chrysler Group was its failure to discern its American consumers' changing tastes for more fuel-efficient models instead of light trucks. This has brought losses to the German-American automaker which resulted to their cutting of almost 13,000 jobs in the US and Canada. The said figure represents about 16 percent of its work force. The German-Automaker has also closed down a plant in Delaware in an effort to save more costs.

Chairman Dieter Zetsche, who brought the Chrysler Group which was then at its brink before taking full control of the entire company at the beginning of 2006, said that all possibilities were open for the Auburn Hills, Michigan based unit. DaimlerChrysler's fourth quarter earnings plunged by 40% caused by the weak demand for the Chrysler unit where sales fell by 7 percent. Chrysler had an operating loss of 1.12 billion euros or $1.47 billion USD compared to what it has earned in 2005 which is a profit totaling to 1.53 billion euros.

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