×

CNBC EXCLUSIVE: CNBC TRANSCRIPT: CNBC'S MARIA BARTIRMO SPEAKS WITH ROBERT NARDELLI, CHRYSLER CHAIRMAN & CEO TODAY ON CNBC'S "POWER LUNCH"

Robert Nardelli
Robert Nardelli

WHEN: TODAY, THURSDAY, APRIL 30TH

WHERE: CNBC'S "POWER LUNCH"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Chrysler Chairman & CEO Robert Nardelli today on CNBC's "Power Lunch." More of this EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW will air during "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo" today at 4PM ET.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

----------------------------------------------------------------

BARTIROMO: HI THERE THANKS VERY MUCH BILL JOINING US NOW BOB NARDELLI IN DETROIT BOB NICE TO HAVE YOU ON THE PROGRAM THANKS FOR SPENDING THE TIME

NARDELLI: THANK YOU VERY MUCH MARIA FOR THE OPPORTUNITY

BARTIROMO: WELL AMAZING DEVELOPMENTS HERE HOW DO YOU FEEL? HOW DID THIS ALL COME DOWN?

NARDELLI: WELL FIRST OF ALL I NEED TO REACH OUT TO EVERYBODY THAT'S HELP MAKE THIS THING HAPPEN TODAY AS YOU CAN IMAGINE AN INORDINATE CHALLENGE A HUGE AMOUNT OF WORK AND PEOPLE WERE WORKING 24/7 CERTAINLY THE LAST TWO WEEKS BUT SINCE OUR FILING ON FEBRUARY 17TH YOU KNOW IT'S A BITTER SWEET CONCLUSION I THINK THE PRESIDENT SUMMED IT UP EXTREMELY WELL VERY ACCURATELY MARIA I THINK BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO CHRYSLER IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT GIVEN OUR EMPLOYEES OUR DEALERS OUR SUPPLIERS AND EVERYONE INVOLVED THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONTINUE YOU KNOW WHERE CHRYSLER WILL PROVIDE GREAT PAYING JOBS AND CONTINUITY IS WHAT THIS PROCESS WAS ALL ABOUT

BARTIROMO: BUT OF COURSE FOR THAT BANKRUPTCY FILING YOU LEAVING THE COMPANY AFTER THE TRANSITION WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT TELLS US ABOUT AMERICA WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT AMERICA THE ECONOMY A GREAT AMERICAN ICON FILES CHAPTER 11

NARDELLI: WELL I THINK AGAIN THE PRESIDENT THE AUTO TASK FORCE ALL OF US OBVIOUSLY WOULD HAVE PREFERRED NOT HAVING TO DO THIS SURGICAL FILING THE PRESIDENT SO ACCURATELY IDENTIFIED IT MARIA IT IS SOMETHING THAT WILL ALLOW US TO EMERGE IN A MUCH LEANER FASHION WE WILL BE ABLE TO LEAVE SOME ASSETS BEHIND SOME LIABILITIES BEHIND SOME DEBTS BEHIND OBVIOUSLY THERE IS A HUGE AMOUNT OF WORK AND A SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE ANYTIME YOU ENTER INTO A CHAPTER 11 FILING BUT I THINK GIVEN WHERE WE ARE AND THE TIMEFRAME WE WERE WORKING AGAINST IT ENDED UP BEING THE ONLY SOLUTION NOT ONE OBVIOUSLY I WOULD HAVE CHOSEN FIRST BUT A PATH A DECISION WE HAD TO MAKE ALONG THE WAY AND I THINK HE IS RIGHT OUR GOAL IS TO GET IN AND OUT AS QUICKLY AS WE CAN AND GET THE FIAT DEAL FROM SIGNING TO CLOSING AND MOVE ON

BARTIROMO: YOU KNOW SO MANY THINGS TO REALLY EXPLORE BOB LET ME HIT ON SOMETHING YOU JUST SAID AND THAT IS THE SO-CALLED SURGICAL BANKRUPTCY HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A BANKRUPTCY TAKE 60 DAYS

NARDELLI: NO I HAVEN'T AND TO BE HONEST

BARTIROMO: IS IT FAIR TO SAY THIS IS GOING TO TAKE ONE OR TWO YEARS

NARDELLI: NO I THINK AGAIN WHAT MAKES THIS DIFFERENT IS THAT WE HAVE A LOT OF THE PARTIES ALREADY ONBOARD I CAN'T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT THE CAW THE UAW CERTAINLY OUR OWN UNITED STATES TREASURY WHO HAVE BEEN FABULOUS AND THE AUTO TASK FORCE FABULOUS THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT THE SUPPLIERS THE DEALERS EVERYONE WHO HAS COME TOGETHER AND PROVIDED AND MADE CONCESSION AS THE PRESIDENT HAS CHALLENGED US TO DO I THINK THIS WILL I AM NOT AN EXPERT IN BANKRUPTCY AND I DON'T WANT TO BECOME AN EXPERT IN BANKRUPTCY BUT I REALLY THINK WE CAN MOVE THROUGH THIS QUICKLY MARIA

BARTIROMO: WHAT'S QUICKLY

NARDELLI: OUR GOAL AS HE SAID WOULD BE TO GET THROUGH THIS THING IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS 35, 40, 60 DAYS

BARTIROMO: MANY PEOPLE I HAVE SPOKEN WITH TODAY AND OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS SAID THAT IS AN EXTRAORDINARY STATEMENT AND IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN TO GET THROUGH BANKRUPTCY IN 60 DAYS BUT YOU THINK IT'S DOABLE IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE SAYING BOB NARDELLI THINKS BANKRUPTCY IS DOABLE IN 60 DAYS

NARDELLI: ONE DIFFERENCE AND PROBABLY THE SINGLE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS CERTAINLY SET THAT AS A CHALLENGE FOR ALL OF US INVOLVED AND TODAY HE HAS BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL IN DELIVERING ON HIS COMMITMENTS

BARTIROMO: LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THOSE COMMITMENTS BECAUSE THERE IS A LOT OF CHATTER ON WALL STREET TODAY AND AT A NUMBER OF INVESTMENT FIRMS WHO FEEL THAT THEY REALLY ARE NOT BEING TREATED FAIRLY LAST NIGHT THE NON-TARP BANKS THESE ARE THE SENIOR DEBT HOLDERS OFFERED TO TAKE A 40% HAIRCUT EVEN THOUGH GROUPS LOWER DOWN CERTAINLY ON THE LEGAL PRIORITY CHAIN SUCH AS THE UNIONS WILL BE GIVEN RECOVERIES UP TO 50% OR MORE WHY ARE THE UNIONS GETTING MORE THAN THE SENIOR DEBT HOLDERS WHEN THESE DEBT HOLDERS THESE INVESTORS RELY ON BANKRUPTCY LAW THAT HAS GOVERNED OUR COUNTRY FOR DECADES OR RELY ON THE OBLIGATIONS THEY AGREED UPON A LONG TIME AGO

NARDELLI: MARIA THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION I THINK AS WE GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS AND WE LOOK AT NOT ONLY THE VIVA CONVERSION BUT WE LOOK AT THE CONCESSIONS THAT BOTH THE CAW AND THE UAW SIGNED UP FOR AND ACHIEVED IN REMARKABLE TIME THROUGH RATIFICATION YOU'LL FIND I THINK THAT THE TABLE WAS FAIRLY WELL-BALANCED I THINK THAT AS IT RELATES TO THE LENDERS THE UNITED STATES TREASURY HANDLED ALL OF THOSE NEGOTIATIONS I THINK THEY DID A REMARKABLE JOB TRYING TO BALANCE THE SACRIFICE TRYING TO BALANCE AND RECOGNIZE THE EQUITY OF THE FIRST LEAN LENDERS AND THE FUNDS THEY HAD PUT INTO THIS AND AGAIN I THINK THAT AS THIS UNFOLDS WHAT YOU WILL FIND IS THE AUTO TASK FORCE UNTIED STATES TREASURY ADMINISTRATION TOOK ALL THOSE THINGS INTO CONSIDERATION TRIED TO BALANCE THEM AS FAIRLY AND AS EQUITABLY AS THEY COULD GIVEN THE TIMEFRAME WE HAD TO GET THROUGH THIS

BARTIROMO: AND TREASURY ASKED YOU TO STEP DOWN RIGHT

NARDELLI: NO THAT IS NOT THE CASE MARIA I TELL YOU I WAS TAKEN BACK BY THE PRESIDENTS COMMENTS I THOUGHT THAT I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW APPRECIATIVE I WAS OF HIS COMMENTS THANKING ME BUT IT'S NOT ABOUT ME IT'S ABOUT A HUGE GROUP OF MEN AND WOMEN THAT HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH MAKING THIS PROCESS A SUCCESS I THOUGHT IT WAS AN APPROPRIATE TIME MARIA TO ANNOUNCE IT THAT I WOULD SEE THIS THROUGH THE BANKRUPTCY AS YOU KNOW IN THE TERM SHEET THE NEW COMPANY THAT WILL EMERGE AS DIRECTED BY THE UNITED STATES TREASURY WILL HAVE A NINE PERSON BOARD SIX SELECTED BY THE GOVERNMENT THREE SELECTED BY FIAT ONE WILL BE A FIAT EMPLOYEE FROM THAT BOARD THEY WILL ELECT A CHAIRMAN THEN THAT BOARD WILL SELECT A CEO AND THAT CEO WILL BE WITH THE CONCURRENCE OF FIAT THIS IS THE APPROPRIATE TIME TO MAKE THE TRANSITION CERTAINLY TO HAVE A FIAT INDIVIDUAL WHO IS TOTALLY FAMILIAR WITH ALL OF THE SYNERGY OPPORTUNITIES THE PRODUCTS THE TECHNOLOGIES TO MAKE SURE WE MAXIMIZE THE OPPORTUNITY IN COMING TOGETHER

BARTIROMO: LET ME ASK YOU MORE ABOUT FIAT BOB WHAT IS PRIORITY NUMBER ONE ONCE FIAT AND CHRYSLER GET TOGETHER IS IT GETTING PRODUCT OUT ON THE MARKET IS IT REDUCING COSTS WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY

NARDELLI: WELL WE ARE GOING TO BE ON A PARALLEL PATH WITH BOTH OF THOSE AND THE OTHER ONE OF COURSE IS TECHNOLOGY AS WE LOOKED AT FIAT ALMOST A YEAR AGO TOM LASORTA ARRANGED THE FIRST MEETING WITH FIAT AND THEN WE QUICKLY FOLLOWED SO WE HAVE BEEN WORKING THEM FOR OVER A YEAR ON A PRODUCT ALLIANCE THAT NOW HAS EMERGED INTO A STRATEGIC ALLIANCE AND WE WERE LOOKING AT THAT CERTAINLY FOR SMALL CARS LAST SUMMER WHEN GASOLINE WENT TO FOUR DOLLARS WE WERE LOOKING AT THEIR TECHNOLOGY AND POWER TRAIN TO HELP US MAKE SURE WE CAN MEET THE CAFE STANDARDS WE WERE LOOKING AT FIAT TO HELP US ON A GLOBAL BASIS AFTER WE SEPARATED FROM DAIMLER WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE HAD A BROADER EUROPEAN SOUTH AMERICAN FOOTPRINT TO MOVE OUR JEEPS OUR CHRYSLER AND DODGE THROUGH THAT SO ON A MULTI-PRONG OBJECTIVE WE'LL MOVING DOWN THAT CONCURRENTLY MARIA BECAUSE TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE TO REALLY RESTRUCTURE GET AS MUCH SYNERGY AS MUCH TECHNOLOGY AS MUCH GLOBAL REACH AS WE CAN THROUGH THIS PROCESS

BARTIROMO: SO IN THE PAST WHEN WE HAVE SPOKEN YOU TOLD ME IT TAKES 1-2 YEARS TO GET A CAR ON THE MARKET FROM START TO FINISH HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET NEW FUEL EFFICIENT CARS ON THE MARKET BETWEEN CHRYSLER AND FIAT AND IF IT IS TWO YEARS WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO IN THAT TWO YEAR PERIOD TO SURVIVE THIS INCREDIBLY SHRINKING MARKET CLEARLY WILL THERE BE A NEED FOR NEW GOVERNMENT HELP DOWN THE ROAD IF IT IS GOING TO TAKE YOU TWO YEARS TO GET NEW FUEL EFFICIENT CARS ON THE MARKET WHICH WE DON'T KNOW YET THAT THE US CONSUMER IS GOING TO WANT FROM FIAT

NARDELLI: WELL IT'S A GREAT QUESTION AND IF WE WERE STARTING FROM A BRAND NEW PLATFORM I THINK THE TIMEFRAME IS APPROPRIATE AS WE DISCUSSED BEFORE ONE OF THE ADVANTAGES IN THIS ALLIANCE IS THAT WE HAVE BEEN WORKING AS I SAID FOR OVER A YEAR NOW THE KEY WILL BE TO TAKE SOME OF THE SMALLER PLATFORMS LIKE THE FIAT 500 WHICH WE SHOWED IN NY AT THE AUTO SHOW AND GOT TREMENDOUS CONSUMER REACTION TO IT AND IT WAS AWARDED BEST IN CLASS FOR ITS SEGMENT THAT'S A CAR THAT WE CAN COMMOLOGATE VERY QUICKLY AND WE CAN INTRODUCE INTO THE US MARKET THERE ARE TECHNOLOGIES THAT WILL ALLOW US TO ADAPT THAT TECHNOLOGY INTO EXISTING PRODUCTS THAT WE TAKE MANY OF OUR VEHICLES AS WE SAID BEFORE OVER 70% OF OUR VEHICLES HAVE GAINED FUEL EFFICIENCY YEAR OVER YEAR TO FURTHER ENHANCE THAT TO IT OUT INTO THE MARKET PLACE SO THERE'S TECHNOLOGY THERE'S PLATFORMS AGAIN THE THIRD PART ABOUT THIS THAT WILL HELP IMMEDIATELY IS TAKING OUR JEEP BRAND ONE OF OUR MOST ICONIC BRANDS IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY ON A GLOBAL BASIS AND MOVE IT THROUGH THEIR DISTRIBUTION IN A MUCH MORE EFFICIENT WAY THROUGH A BROADER FOOTPRINT THAN WE HAD AFTER WE SEPARATED FROM DAIMLER BACK IN AUGUST OF 07

BARTIROMO: I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT DAIMLER BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY LOOK WE'VE TRIED THESE CROSS=PROMOTIONAL MERGERS BEFORE AND CROSS' GLOBAL MERGERS WITH DAIMLER DIDN'T WORK OTHERS DIDN'T WORK WHY DO YOU THINK FIAT WILL WORK BUT WE'LL COVER THAT ON THE "CLOSING BELL" LET ME END THIS LIVE INTERVIEW HERE BOB WITH ASKING YOU ABOUT THE REPERCUSSIONS IF IN FACT WE WERE TO SEE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OWN 50% OF GENERAL MOTORS YOU KNOW HERE WE ARE WITH THE GOVERNMENT HAVING A BIG STAKE IN GM IF THE PLAN ON THE TABLE GOES FORWARD DO YOU FEEL THAT FORD AND CHRYSLER ARE AT A DISADVANTAGE IF THE GOVERNMENT OWNS SUCH A BIG STAKE IN YOUR MAIN COMPETITOR THERE DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE OPERATING WORKING AGAINST TAX PAYER DOLLARS IN SOME REGARD

NARDELLI: NOT AT ALL MARIA I HOPE THAT THE RESTRUCTURING PROCESS FOR GM IS TREMENDOUSLY SUCCESSFUL WITH THE UNITED STATES TREASURY THE AUTO TASK FORCE INVOLVEMENT AND AGAIN A LOT OF THE SAME CONSTITUENTS THAT WE WERE INVOLVED IN BECAUSE THE AUTO INDUSTRY PRIMARILY THROUGH THE SUPPLY NETWORK NEEDS TO BE HEALTHY AND GM IS SUCH A LARGE PLAYER WE NEED THEM TO BE SUCCESSFUL THE OTHER COMPETITORS CERTAINLY HERE IN THE US NEED THEM TO BE SUCCESSFUL SO WE CONTINUE WITH AN UNINTERRUPTED SUPPLY OF COMPONENTS SO THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO MANUFACTURE AND SUPPLY AND PROVIDE THEM TO OUR CONSUMERS

BARTIROMO: ALL RIGHT BOB WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TALKING ABOUT IN PARTICULAR THE SENIOR DEBT HOLDERS AS THEY SEEM TO BE UPSET THAT THERE IS CONTINUING CLASS WARFARE IF YOU WILL BIG BUSINESS IS BAD WE WILL TALK ABOUT THAT AS WELL AS WHAT A DEAL WITH FIAT MEANS ON THE CLOSING BELL MEANWHILE BOB THANK YOU AND WE WILL SEND IT BACK TO THE STUDIO AND BILL AND SUE





About CNBC:
CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage and business information to more than 340 million homes worldwide, including more than 95 million households in the United States and Canada. The network's Business Day programming (weekdays from 5:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and also includes reports from CNBC news bureaus worldwide. Additionally, CNBC viewers can manage their individual investment portfolios and gain additional in-depth information from on-air reports by accessing http://www.cnbc.com.

Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site at http://nbcumv.com/cnbc/.