WASHINGTON — Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli says the $3 billion in second-stage federal loan money the company seeks would be used in North American operations even if a proposed Chrysler-Fiat alliance goes forward.
"None of the funds that we've got from the treasury will flow out of Chrysler," Nardelli said in a video posted on a Chrysler media Web site Thursday, Jan. 29.
Nardelli also said getting the additional $3 billion was "the only way that deal will get consummated." Chrysler already has received a $4 billion loan.
Nardelli's commitment to sequester U.S. taxpayer money is part of a campaign to assure federal officials that no conflict exists between loans to Chrysler and plans for an alliance with Italian automaker Fiat, spokesman Stuart Schorr said Friday.
A Chrysler spokeswoman says the company is eager to see a "car czar" named by the Obama administration. That person would evaluate automaker turnaround plans to determine whether they get to keep the loans.
It would help to have an identifiable person in charge to push the process along, the spokeswoman says. But Chrysler is not especially worried because the company thinks the process is moving. Chrysler is focusing on its turnaround plan, to be presented Feb. 17, with final resolution March 31.