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Bill Radke: Also today, Chrysler will issue its first financial results since Italian car maker Fiat took it over. Now car sales rebounded generally, but Chrysler was the only major auto maker to post a sales loss this year. And Marketplace’s John Dimsdale says analysts don’t expect much improvement yet.
John Dimsdale: Chrysler got rid of unwanted dealers and a lot of debt during bankruptcy. But those are the only improvements so far, says Michelle Krebs of the automotive website Edmunds.com:
Michelle Krebs: It doesn’t have any new product to sell, which makes it much more difficult to generate revenue.
Whether Fiat will have the money and creativity to turn Chrysler around remains to be seen. Snazzier, smaller Fiat-designed cars won’t reach showrooms until next year, and until then, Krebs doesn’t see how Chrysler’s new owner can transform the company.
Krebs: Twenty-ten will be certainly the most difficult year. If they can get through this, they might be able to thrive.
One success for Chrysler this year has been corporate fleet sales, to rental car companies for example. That keeps factories humming, but doesn’t generate much profit.
In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.
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