For as long as Marchionne has been running Chrysler, he's gone to great lengths to temper the expectation of those who have expected the automaker to bounce back. And for good reason. The place was left for dead (and yes, some in the White House wanted to kill it during the bailout discussions) when Fiat took control. Since then, it has made steady progress in weaning itself of the costly habit of incentives. It's also taken the first, and very important steps of fixing a product line-up that was neglected for too long.
Chrysler is once again profitable, but even Marchionne admits it has a long ways to go. The next two years will be as important as the last two. With the U.S. economy limping along, don't expect auto sales to continue growing as quickly as they have since bottoming out in 2009. And overseas, Chrysler and Fiat still need to find a way to quickly establish a foothold in China and the red-hot markets of Asia. There are some bright spots and some areas that are promising.
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