Chrysler reports first annual net income in 15 years

U.S. automaker earned $183 million in profits in 2011, reversing a $650 million loss.

February 1, 2012   by The Canadian Press

DETROIT—Propelled by higher sales of Jeeps and other revamped models, Chrysler earned $183 million in 2011, reversing a $652 million loss in 2010—its first full year out of bankruptcy protection.

And despite economic uncertainty, Chrysler expects an even better 2012, predicting revenues of $1.5 billion this year, an 18 per cent increase.

Chrysler spent much of 2010 designing new vehicles and trying to spruce up an archaic lineup that wasn’t selling.

Now those vehicles are in showrooms and global sales climbed 22 per cent to1.86 million last year. U.S. sales growth was even faster, up 26 per cent.

Revenue totaled $55 billion, 31 per cent higher than in 2010. The added cash, along with relatively low expenses after bankruptcy and savings from combining technology and engineering with Fiat, helped Chrysler turn itself around.

Chrysler’s profit has also created a sort of role reversal. When Sergio Marcionne was selected to take control of Chrysler, Fiat was seen as a saviour. But now Fiat, which owns 58.5 per cent of Chrysler, is struggling and may need the U.S. company’s help to survive economic problems in Europe.

Chrysler said it cut its net debt in half last year to $2.9 billion. The company’s total cash at the end of 2011 was $9.6 billion.

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