Chrysler seems a little confused about the state of play in its merger deal with Italian carmaker Fiat.
The financially-troubled US company first announced that an agreement had been reached, then 30 minutes later it withdrew that statement and said only that a “framework” accord had been reached with Fiat.
The developments came in two press releases immediately after US President Barack Obama gave Chrysler LLC just 30 days to come up with a plan to team up with Fiat S.p.A, if it wants to qualify for up to an additional US$6-billion in aid.
Chrysler originally issued a statement saying it, Fiat and majority owner Cerberus Capital Management LP had reached an agreement on an alliance.
Half an hour later, Chrysler issued another statement, saying it was just a “framework of an agreement.”
Both statements were attributed to Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli and cited “substantial hurdles to resolve.”
Chrysler is currently surviving on US$4-billion in government loans, and President Obama has said his administration will provide Chrysler the working capital it needs to get through the next 30 days.
Chrysler spokesperson, Lori McTavish, said the company issued the second statement to make it clear that there was still work to be done on the alliance.
“Today marks an important milestone for Chrysler,” she said.
“We originally had a preliminary nonbinding agreement; now we have an agreement on a framework. It’s like you’re dating and then you’re going steady,” she added.
On that basis the marriage and the honeymoon could be very interesting!