martes, 15 de mayo de 2007

Post-sale Chrysler targets alliances for growth

DETROIT (Reuters) - Chrysler Group will consider alliances aimed at small cars and fast-growth emerging markets as it breaks free from Germany's Daimler AG, the company's chief executive said on Tuesday.

Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda said the automaker would press ahead with a turnaround plan announced in February that includes cutting 13,000 jobs and investing $3 billion in new plants to make more fuel-efficient engines as it shifts to private ownership under Cerberus Capital Management.

A day after Cerberus said it will buy the automaker from DaimlerChrysler AG (DCXGn.DE: Quote, Profile , Research) (DCX.N: Quote, Profile , Research) for $7.4 billion, LaSorda told reporters it would be "business as usual" for the independent Chrysler.

Cerberus (CBS.UL: Quote, Profile , Research), which will become an 80 percent owner of Chrysler, has endorsed the company's strategic plans and will not spin off Chrysler's brands, freeze new investment or push for higher-than-projected profitability by 2008, LaSorda said.

"We've got a good financial start here, but we've got to deliver," he said.

LaSorda said that as a private company, the No. 4 automaker in the U.S. market would be free of pressure to meet quarterly financial goals and be able reach out to partners in target markets such as India, Russia and Southeast Asia, where it has lagged.

One prospect is expanding an alliance with China's Chery Automobile Co. that was agreed in December. It's awaiting clearance from the Chinese government

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