Corporate Business | May 15 2015

Letters to the Editor: The Wall Street Journal style

Today, The Wall Street Journal’s “letters to the editor” column hosts, to say the least, a misinformed letter by Mr. Tom Lieb that was posted on the site yesterday. Regrettably (a sarcastic English understatement), the Journal disregarded the comment I promptly posted yesterday, thereby prohibiting broadsheet readers to get accurate and balanced information.

For the benefit of our readers and customers, the letter and comment follow:

Letters – May 15, 2015

Fiat No Friend to American Workers – Does Sergio Marchionne care about Chrysler workers?

Regarding Holman Jenkins’s “Chrysler Shops for Its Next Bailout” (Business World, May 6): What is  Fiat  CEO  Sergio Marchionne’s real agenda? When the Obama administration nationalized Chrysler and gave it to the UAW and Fiat, Fiat had lost millions and millions of dollars from current operations. Chrysler was rich in real estate and easy pickings, and with the liquidation of its U.S. assets, it basically saved Fiat, which by the way isn’t an American car company. The Toledo Jeep plant was liquidated and the Renegade sent to Italy for production. The Detroit engine plant went to Mexico. Other plants were closed. Many dealerships were closed. Thousands of workers lost their jobs. The American workers really made out here. Thank you, Chrysler and UAW, for “standing up” for our American workers.

Does Mr. Marchionne care about American law, the American car business, the American people, the Chrysler workers—or is he just another corporate raider with the Obama administration and the UAW as a partner?

Tom Lieb

Redondo Beach, Calif.


The truth behind the alliance that has resulted in the stability and profitability of FCA US LLC, formerly known as Chrysler Group LLC, is that: in June 2009, Chrysler’s value was zero and nobody was lining up in front of Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, interested in buying a single share of the automaker or employing its 48,000 employees or the employees of the many businesses and communities whose workers depend on the automaker for their employment.

Since Fiat’s involvement in June 2009, massive investments have been made to continue the sustainable growth of Auburn Hills, Michigan-based FCA US. The company has added 30,000 new hires. On May 24, 2011, Chrysler Group LLC did repay in full the loans it was given by the U.S. Treasury and Canada governments, six years early. And in 2014, FCA US reported its fourth consecutive year of profit, with $1.2 billion in net income.

From 2009 to 2014, the Company’s U.S. production increased by 3.5 times, from 481,000 vehicles produced in the United States in 2009 to 1.7 million vehicles produced in our U.S. plants last year.

Over that same period, Fiat S.p.A. paid more than $5.6 billion to acquire the full ownership of Chrysler Group LLC, recently renamed FCA US LLC.

And let’s set the record straight on what we’ve done with our production facilities. We’ve invested $5.6 billion in our U.S. plants. Our Jeep manufacturing plant in Toledo, Ohio, not only has not been liquidated, on the contrary it is highly valued and continues to produce our much-sought-after Jeeps at full tilt. And since 2009, we’ve enhanced our Indiana transmission facilities to create the largest transmission production campus in the world. Massive investments have been executed at all of our facilities in Michigan and Illinois.

The production of the new American-designed Jeep Renegade small SUV in Italy continues the Jeep brand’s dedication to the global marketplace and demonstrates a dedication to making the most of a global automaker’s available resources, while staying true to the American DNA of the Jeep brand.

The question to be asked to Mr. Lieb is: does he care about the truth, plain and simple, or does he favor misinformed opinions, fiction, and urban myth with the added and unsavory flavor of intellectual dishonesty?

Gualberto Ranieri


Auburn Hills, Mich.