Even if, in essence, Chrysler has done nothing more than to swap one lender for another, the repayment of the loans to the two governments (read to the taxpayers of the two countries) is expected to generate a small wave of sympathy for the battered automaker.
To mark the event, Chrysler will organize at one of its lead factories, the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, a thank-you ceremony during which Marchionne, manufacturing tzar Ron A. Bloom and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese will speak their mind in front of a crowd of Chrysler employees and media representatives.
At this moment, Chrysler owes $5.8 billion to the US and $1.7 billion to the Canadian governments. The car maker has been in talks with four different banks for a refinancing loan, in the end managing to convince them Chrysler is worth a loan.
With part of the money coming from the banks, Chrysler will use the cash Fiat paid for an increase of its stake to 46 percent and from selling secured senior debt securities to repay the entire $7.5 billion.
“Tomorrow is payoff day,” said Marchionne on Monday, at a grand opening ceremony at Fiat of Lakeside in Macomb Township. “It is our expectation tomorrow that Chrysler will again regain its independence and its accountability to the capital markets.”