Chrysler leaves some naysayers behind

Nov. 5, 2010 at 3:25 PM
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. automaker Chrysler LLC shed plants, production and personnel in 2009; this year it is shedding skeptics, analysts said.

The automaker frequently described as overshadowed that filed for bankruptcy in April 2009 was coming ahead "a couple of quarters sooner than expected," said industry analyst Jim Hall at 2953 Analytics, The Detroit News reported Friday.

"I'm surprised by the financials," Hall said.

January through June, Chrysler posted an operating profit of $326 million. A five-year plan that set a goal of $40.5 billion in revenues this year hit the $20.2 billion mark in the first six months of the year.

Chrysler is hitting goals in part by churning up enthusiasm over 16 new or revamped 2011 models. But with most of them set for launch in the current quarter, the timing had critics writing obituaries ahead of time.

Even Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne told journalists when the five-year plan was revealed, "Some of you are going to walk out of here totally skeptical and some of you will be outright incredulous."

That was then. This is now. More recently, AutoTrends Consulting analyst Joe Phillippi said, "Skeptics were of the view the company would collapse of its own weight within months, and obviously that is not the case."

Rebecca Lindland, director of auto industry research at IHS Automotive, said, "They have done better than we expected. We have to give them credit for that and for just being alive."

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