Marchionne Feels Ripped Off on Government Loans, Apologizes
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Following the J.D. Power Automotive Industry Roundtable, Marchionne answered one of the questions directed at him with the phrase "I want to pay back the shyster loans first." Those loans comprise $5.8 billion to the US and $2.3 billion to Canada and come with an interest rate of 11 percent.
Feeling that his remark might have offended somebody, and trying to downplay the possible consequences, the CEO issued a statement apologizing for his words.
“Yesterday, in responding to a question about Chrysler's government loans, I used a term in reference to the interest rate being charged on our government loans that has raised concern. I regret the remark which I consider inappropriate.
“I have repeated on numerous occasions, on behalf of all the people at Chrysler, our gratitude to the U.S. and Canadian governments for the financial assistance that was critical to the recovery of our Group.
“As the only parties willing to underwrite the risk associated with Chrysler’s recovery plan, the two governments levied interest rates that, although appropriate at the time, are above current market conditions. This was done with the full support and understanding of the members of Chrysler Group LLC.
“Because of these changed market conditions as well as the improvements in our performance and outlook made possible through the support of the U.S. and Canadian governments, Chrysler intends to repay these loans in full at the earliest opportunity.”
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