Government Spending

Chrysler CEO Whines That Uncle Sam Has Not Treated Him Generously Enough


Isn't this precious? Guess who is claiming to be a victim of all the aid Uncle Sam has been showering on Detroit automakers? Toyota or Honda? Nope. O.K. then, American taxpayers? Haven't been heard from lately.

Believe it or not it is Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Chrysler, the only automaker to be bailed out twice by the government in half a century. Detroit Free Press auto columnist Tom Walsh reports that Marchionne took a jab Wednesday at GM and Ford. Writes Walsh:

He suggested the competition is uneven because these companies are getting help from Uncle Sam—GM still 26% owned by the U.S. Treasury and Ford having been awarded $5.9 billion in federal retooling loans, while Chrysler's request for Department of Energy retooling loans is stuck in limbo.

"One got DOE funding, and the other received equity capital," Marchionne said of GM and Ford, "so I'm the only guy sitting over here who's paid back everything with interest. I don't want any favors, I just don't want to be mistreated."

The shamelessness and mendacity of this comment is astounding, even by the rather lofty standards of corporate CEOs. Even the Treasury admitted that American taxpayers incurred a $1.3 billion loss on their "loan" to Chrysler although the true figure is closer to $6.4 billion as Washington Examiner's Conn Carroll reported in May. Yet Marchionne claims he didn't receive any favors and doesn't want to be mistreated?

So what is this poor mistreated, CEO doing with the all this money he didn't get from Uncle Sam. He is "spreading the wealth" to….his own workers. He announced today that all of Chrysler's hourly workers would get an average of $1,500 in bonuses this year. "This is a reward that you have earned," Marchionne told them in an email. "The more difficult the task, the more satisfying it is to overcome all obstacles…. Your efforts rewrote the history that so many naysayers had forecast."

No, jerk, U.S. taxpayers' empty wallets did.

My piece on how much the GM bailout is going to cost taxpayers here.

NEXT: The Paul/Romney Alliance?

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  1. This whole “bailing out of failing companies” thing has to stop.

    From the jerk at GM buying a commercial to brag about how they have “almost paid all those loans back” to this idiot at GM there is no reason to support failing leadership such as this.

    Failure starts at the top and these idiots have clearly shown that they are unwilling to compete in the market without taxpayers making sure they don’t fail.

    Enough is enough.

    1. If we didn’t bail them out, the country would have lost millions of jobs, unemployment would be over 8% and Detroit would look like a bombed out city and be the butt of jokes nationwide.

      1. I read that as if you were serious at first, and then I was like “HAHAHAHAHA!”

        It’s funny because it’s true, but also sad.

      2. What you did there…

  2. Yet how many people will learn ? They’ll be against bailouts and special interests, and in the next breath say we must support sustainable energy and green jobs.

  3. Well what do you expect from a guy with an obviously foreign-sounding name?

    1. At least he’s not “French looking” like John Kerry.

    2. That’s a-spicy meat-a-ball!

      1. Why you a-making fun of Tony? Tony bring-a you da pizza!

        1. “You have brought great joy to this old Italian stereotype.”

    3. He IS italian. He owns FIAT. FIAT owns Chrysler.

      1. FIAT: Found On Road Dead

        1. It’s been a while since the SAT’s, but analogies need to have a second part- right?

          1. …analogies need to have a second part- right?

            I don’t know what your getting at there, Spencer. I’m not into buttsex.

          2. You know, here in Japan, Fiats are considered luxury automobiles.

            I don’t know how they did it, but it’s really a triumph of brilliant marketing.

            1. They got J-Lo to ride in one for a commercial.?

        2. FIAT: Fuckin’ Italian Attempt at Transportation
          ….as told to me by frustrated mechanic who was desperately trying to make sense of the wiring in a fiat X19 i USED to own….my that POS car rust in hell!!!!

  4. I recall how in the years following the first Chrysler bailout all the leftie alt-weekly papers boldly stated that the bail-out had worked and saved tens of thousands of jobs.
    I wrote a letter to the editor of the Boston Phoenix asking them to qualify the definition of “worked” and to please try to attach some ethical significance to the word. By their logic, the assassination of Kennedy “worked,” as it achieved its goal of removing a sitting president via discharge of firearms.

    They did not run my letter.

  5. Q: Do “loans” such as these Department of Energy things count as subsidies and even bailouts?

    A: Yes.

  6. From one auto-industry guy to another, ‘Fuck you with Obama’s dick, Sergio, you government-teat-sucking prick.’

    That is all.

  7. Didn’t I just hear that Fiat Group’s only “profitable” division was Chrysler?

  8. Today’s contestant on “How Much Union Ass can YOU Suck?….”

  9. Oh, and no wonder Chrysler blows. They have Italians running things over there now. When is the last time an Italian made a dependable car?

    1. Wasn’t it when their trains ran on time?

    2. I recall that they had some pretty bitchin’ chariots running in circles at the Circus Maximus back in the day….

    3. Being a member of the monocled class, don’t you own dozens of Ferraris and Lamborghinis? I thought we all did!

      1. Notice I said dependable not beautiful. Ferraris and Lambos are nice to look at, but I wouldn’t say they are reliable.

        1. Italian cars are just a crutch to prop up the scale model market.

  10. Viola! Via the magic of teh Google!

    Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of both automakers, today forecast 2012 profit will increase to 4.5 billion euros from 2.39 billion euros last year on the strength of Chrysler’s earnings, which have been consolidated into Fiat’s results since June. That compares with a 3.24 billion-euro estimate for next year from 15 analysts. Chrysler, which posted its first profit last year since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009, has been offsetting Fiat’s slumping fortunes in Europe, where annual losses are estimated at 800 million euros.

    Gosh, Sergio, maybe you should be spending more time and energy rent-seeking in the Eurozone.

    1. I think that even the Eurozone has finally come to the realization that they’re dead broke.

      We haven’t reached the bottom of that well here in the Murricazone.

    2. How bad is your conglomerate when Chrysler is the crown jewel?

      1. a veritable queen of the pigs is Chrysler…

  11. He announced today that all of Chrysler’s hourly workers would get an average of $1,500 in bonuses this year

    That’s $1,500 more than I’m getting this year… or last year… or well, any year before that.

    I expect my thank-you card in the mail by 5pm, Chrysler/UAW.

    1. UAW is Satan’s cohort. Fucking SEIU thugs look like angels in comparison to those animals.

      And yeah, I don’t work for government, or for a government-owned shit-factory company, so I’m not getting bonuses. THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW…

  12. I’ve never owned a Chrysler product in my life – same with my dad. Ever since the K-Car, I’ve had no use for the company.

    Anyone drive the newer Charger? Thoughts?

    1. I had one for a rental car for about 6 hours. It was fun, but I was driving a 4-cylinder with a blown head-gasket at the time, so its hard to tell whether the car was that nice, or my daily driver was such a shitball.

      1. My friend had a Dodge. The head gasket blew one day. The mechanic said all Dodges will do that after 8-10 years.

        1. The blown gasket was on a ’94 toyota engine in 2010. Fucker died three weeks ago. No compression in 3 cylinders. I’m pushing that bitch down a boat ramp and making an artificial reef out of it. It will probably be on fire when I do so. I got taken on that truck; the body and chassis were in such good shape, the guts were utter shit.

        2. I had a 1989 Dodge Caravan. I think it blew two head gaskets between 1989 and 2002 (it had at least one, and enough other engine problems that I can’t remember them all in detail). I had a 1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager. No major engine issues, but it needed more than the normal maintenance at 100000 miles. Both vehicles were hand-me-downs bought at reasonable prices from the original owner (a close relative), so I knew the full maintenance history of each.

          The Voyager finally pissed me off enough last year that I replaced it. It wouldn’t reliably start. Only diagnosis I could get from a dealer’s shop was it wasn’t directly a major electrical problem. But, it would cost $300 to full diagnose and probably another $500 to fix. For a vehicle worth $1000, not worth it. Traded it in less than a month later.

          Vowed: NEVER again a Chrysler product. Even if they hadn’t been bailed out.

          I will never own a GM or Chrysler product because of the bailouts. I’m not the only one I know who feels this way. And for those who say “buy American”, the big three’s products are as much Mexican and Canadian as America. Fuck ’em.

          1. The Voyagers/Caravans also seem to eat transmissions – at least everyone I know who owned one had to replace a transmission.

            After owning a Caravan, my sister-in-law ended up with a Honda Odyssey.

        3. My ex-wife owned a Sebring when we met. The head gasket blew on it at 80,000 miles. My in-the-know mechanic friend explained that the head gasket of that generation of Chrysler engines was made of some lower-grade material that simply deteroriated faster than in the other manufacturers. Anytime they’d get a Dodge or Chrysler in the shop w/ more than 70,000 miles on it the problem would be related to the head gasket failing.

          I’ll never buy a Chrysler product.

          1. I own a Sebring now and the braking system is undersized for the weight of the car, which has caused me to have the discs ground once already. Here in about 10,000 miles or so I’ll probably have to get them replaced.

  13. Thoughts?


    1. meh, my wife likes the look.

      I’m leaning Mustang (my GM-working Grandpa would roll in his grave)

  14. I have to admit, I laughed out loud when I heard that Chrysler, which famously has the worst build quality of any American automaker, had been acquired by the Italians.


    1. And not just any Italian auto maker, but it was “FIX IT AGAIN TONY” FIAT who bought them.

      It is to laugh.

    2. I figure if the Germans couldn’t even fix their quality when they were Daimler Chrysler, there really is no hope. Better to just scrap the marquee and start over.

    3. Hey now, they could have outsourced their electrical to Lucas.

  15. Even the Leaf outsold the Volt Short last year. harhar

    1. I see an occasional leaf ’round my parts. Never seen a Volt.

    2. Oh, and apropos of Who Killed the Electric Car, it may very well be Thermodynamics that killed the electric car.

      1. Thermodynamics, the most brutal, uncompromising corporate raiders of them all.

        1. Not only can you not beat the sonofabitch, you can’t even break even.

      2. Thermodynamics would be an excellent name for a corporation. Motto:

        “We always win in the end.”

      3. I believe it was Video Killed The Electric Car.

  16. Anyone drive the newer Charger? Thoughts?

    I haven’t, but I do know a guy. He compared it unfavorably (in the sense that it shouldn’t have been so comparable) to the wagon-shaped Magnum. I’ve driven one of those, and that was just weird and nerve-wracking. I’m a big-car guy, so that wasn’t the problem. They’re just…fundamentally geometrically wrong. Apparently Chargers are the exact same car, experientially, but you look more desperate and balding inside one.

    1. but you look more desperate and balding inside one.

      *looks around nervously*

      One need not drive the new Charger to look desperate and balding. Some of us do very well just sitting in a chair.

    2. Mrs. Dean had the hemi Magnum for a few years.

      Good power (300-odd torquey horses), very nice highway car (in theory). The problem was the loose bolts rattling around behind the damn dash, the horn that would randomly honk, the air conditioner that failed whenever it got over 90, etc.

      Our last American car.

      1. ah – I was looking at one of those before I bought my wife her Honda Element.

        I was enamored with the idea of a V8, RWD, and the cargo space of the wagon. But the Dodge word scared me away.

        I’ve got nothing against (some) American cars. At least the hot-rodding/musclecar vein.

        I used to be a Nissan man through and through, but their recent designs have left me cold.

      2. It’s amazing how many engineering compromises and quality trade-offs the American companies have to make because of the UAW cost structure they are forced into.

        People have to realize this is the same reason all the French (and nearly every Italian make except for the highest-end) makes disappeared from the US market.

  17. Ford having been awarded $5.9 billion in federal retooling loans

    Cthulhu damn them all. Do I have to build a car from a kit to have one untouched by government subsidy?

    1. Do what we did: swear off American cars. Bonus points because you will no longer be funding a criminal cabal (by which I mean the UAW).

      1. This is the #1 reason I stopped buying American. You aren’t really buying a Ford, GM, or Xsler, your are buying a UAW-brand car. Why would a sane person do such a thing?

        1. This is also true of any Honda or Toyota built by the UAW. Even if they are built better than the “American” badges, it makes no sense to encourage it because the UAW will eventually ruin those, too.

          Look for the union label – and run away as fast as possible.

    2. that po’d me too – as a driver of a Grand Marquis! And potential Mustang owner.

      Looks like vintage cars from here on out. Or something.

    3. that po’d me too – as a driver of a Grand Marquis! And potential Mustang owner.

      Looks like vintage cars from here on out. Or something.

  18. I gave up on US vehicles in the 80’s when the molding would start falling off 6 months after you bought it new.

    I now drive a 17 year old Nissan PU I bought new. The thing just keeps running. It’s had 1 muffler change, clutch/tranny work, accessory belts changed at year 14, and other than that, just normal maintenance. At 180,000 miles, it still has the factory brakes under it. Yah, I check them every time tires are changed but it’s all interstate miles where brakes are hardly used.

    I can’t get that sort of value for the money from US made cars. They’ve a long ways to go to convince me their products are worth buying again. So far they are failing miserably.

    This isn’t about jobs, it’s about what I get for the money I have to spend to buy the product. If you can’t sell me a good product at a reasonable price, you don’t have a market.

  19. This pompus asshole should be kissing the ground that the taxpayers have given him even one dime.

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