According to an affidavit filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, just weeks before Chrysler filed for bankruptcy, it was seeking to sell parts to Chinese automaker. It’s also said that Chrysler has been exploring a partnership with every major automaker for at least two years – including Japanese rival Toyota.
“Chrysler has attempted in recent weeks to sell product lines and other units to a number of Chinese companies, but these efforts too have been unsuccessful,” Co-president and vice chairman Tom LaSorda said in the affidavit.
Chrysler had invited a bunch of potential Chinese buyers to its Auburn Hills headquarters in Feb. for give days.
“Over the next two months, several companies, including Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Tempo International Group, Hawtai Automobiles, and Chery Automotive Co., expressed interest in purchasing specific vehicles, powertrains, intellectual property rights, distribution channels and automotive brands, said LaSorda.
However, none of the deals moved forward due to the struggling economy.
LaSorda also said that before talking to Fiat, Chrysler explored the possibility of partnership man major foreign automakers. In January, CEO Bob Nardelli had been talking to then GM CEO Rick Wagoner on a possible merger.
“Since that time, GM has consistently remained uninterested in reopening the discussions about a potential merger,” LaSorda wrote.
Chrysler had approached Toyota in June 2008, after which Toyota rejected in July. Honda rejected a proposal in December – one day after Chrysler made the offer. Other efforts with Nissan, Tata Motors, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Magna all went nowhere.
“It (Fiat) is Chrysler’s last best hope. I know because I have spent over two years looking for, talking to and evaluating potential partners,” LaSorda said.
– By: Omar Rana
Source: Detroit News