The Chrysler CEO said, "Our customers want to know that Chrysler will be here." And if the Treasury Department approves lending Chrysler another $5 Billion (on top of $4 Billion issued in January) Chryslers future will include a strategic alliance with Italian auto maker Fiat. The partnership, valued by Chrysler at $8-$10 Billion, would center around the Italian auto company sharing it's expertise in small efficient cars with Chrysler.
The issue is whether the President's Auto Team will make a call on Chrysler loan by March 31st. Team leader Steven Rattner has said the task force is working towards a decision by the end of the month, but there are many issues to sort through and we shouldn't expect a huge announcement that answers all questions at once. In other words, fixing the auto industry is a work in progress.
Bankruptcy is still a possibility for Chrysler, though Nardelli wants to avoid that outcome and Rattner says the preference is restructuring auto makers outside of chapter 11. Chrysler does not want to slip below $2.5 Billion in cash, or it risks sliding into a messy liquidation.
While Nardelli won't say when it will hit that level, it's clear he needs to know if his company has a renewed lifeline from Washington or if he should plan on bankruptcy court.