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Chrysler could be turning the corner on its losses

Chrysler Group LLC Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne drives a new 2011 Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee during a celebration of the production launch of the vehicle at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant.

Chrysler soon could be turning the corner on its losses.

That's thanks to drivers who gave the new Jeep Grand Cherokee the thumbs up.

The auto manufacturer on Monday reported an $84 million loss in the third quarter, as sales of the newly-launched Jeep helped close the company's income gap. In the second quarter, Chrysler reported $172 million in losses.

The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company compared results with the second quarter rather than the prior year because this was the first time since 2006 it has reported third-quarter results.

"Chrysler's financial success is dependent upon the vehicles we design, build and sell," Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, said in a news release Monday. The company is exceeding financial goals for the year, he added.

The new Jeep is the first of nearly a dozen new cars and trucks being rolled out in the U.S. by the manufacturer by December.

Chrysler's third-quarter revenues rose to $11 million, a 5.2 percent improvement over the prior quarter. Year-to-date, revenues totaled about $31.2 million.

The company also said it gained U.S. market share for the fifth consecutive quarter. It now holds 9.6 percent of the U.S. market.

Chrysler has been managed by Italian automaker Fiat SpA since it left bankruptcy protection last year. The company said it expects to make a pre-tax profit of $700 million this year, up from a previous forecast of $200 million. It also expects to end the year with $500 million in positive cash flow, up from its early prediction that it would burn through $1 billion in cash.

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