On Tuesday afternoon Chrysler is expected to announce that it's repaid the U.S. and Canadian governments $7.5 billion in bailout loans. Good for Chrysler! Although actually, Chrysler hasn't gotten rid of the debt--it just owes the money to institutional investors now, instead of the government. The debt-swap will save Chrysler more than $300 million a year in interest expense. And perhaps as importantly, it's a nice PR coup for the automaker, which gets to hold a press conference at its Sterling Heights assembly line and say that it's gotten out from under the bailout.
What's Chrysler's next move? Well, it has to carry some water for Fiat, the Italian car company. Fiat and Chrysler have the same CEO--Sergio Marchionne, pictured above--and Fiat has been managing Chrysler since 2009. Its stake in Chrysler rose from 20 percent to 30 percent last month, and it's expected to go up to 46 percent today. Fiat's got its eye on a 51 percent stake in Chrysler by the end of the year. First, though, as Reuters explains it, Chrysler needs to come up with "a vehicle that gets 40 miles per gallon on a Fiat platform -- a development expected in the fourth quarter."