Chrysler posts 1st profit since bankruptcy

By Aaron Smith, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- Chrysler Group LLC said Wednesday that it posted its first quarterly operating profit since being acquired by the Italian automaker Fiat as part of its emergence from bankruptcy last year.

Chrysler, in posting an operating profit of $143 million for the first quarter of 2010, also said it "remains on target to break even on an operating basis" for the full year.

The automaker attributed the operating profit to "continued price discipline on all products" as well as "the successful launch of the all-new Ram Heavy Duty pickup."

The company's net loss was $197 million for the quarter. That brought Chrysler's loss to nearly $4 billion since emerging from bankruptcy last June 10, including $3.79 billion in the period between June 10 and Dec. 31.

Chrysler said its first-quarter revenue climbed 3% from the final three months of 2009, to more than $9.6 billion. Its market share edged up to 9.1% in the United States from 8.1% the prior quarter.

"There has already been an uptick in customer traffic in our dealerships in [the first quarter] and we are confident that Chrysler sales will continue to increase as we launch new products in the second quarter, beginning with the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee," said Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Chrysler Group as well as Fiat.

Marchionne spoke at the company's investor day in Turin, Italy, as he outlined corporate plans through 2014.

Fiat took a controlling stake in Chrysler, based in Auburn Hills, Mich., after it emerged from bankruptcy last June. To top of page

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