The third largest US auto maker Chrysler debunked rumours of being in talks with Renault, Nissan Motor and auto parts supplier, Magna International, to sell its assets as well as the PT Cruiser brand to Chinese automakers and its marquee Jeep nameplate to Renault-Nissan.
Reacting to a Reuters report on Tuesday, Chrysler held a press conference yesterday to put a lid on the rumours about the company selling its brands or factories or winding up but said it was open to acquisition, which it was looking for anyway since the past few months.
Speaking at the impromptu press conference, Tom LaSorda, vice chairman and president of Chrysler and also in charge of the company's asset sales and acquisitions said "I'd love to tell the press directly what's going on, instead of people putting out rumour-based reporting, which at this point is not healthy for the industry."
He said that the company was not selling any brands individually like the Jeep nor did Chrysler have any plans or designs to separate any brands from the company.
On rumours that the company may wind up, he said, ''This company is going to be around. We are not going under."
LaSorda also debunked the story that his company was in discussions with Renault SA, which owns 44-per cent stake in Nissan Motor and added that any sale of the company had to come with the approval of private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, Chrysler's owner.
As far as Magna is concerned, he said that "Magna is a great company, but we're not selling any brands, like a Jeep stand alone. We're just not doing that."
However, the company is looking for buyers for its tooling and machine division as it is no longer using older brands, he said and although the company has not received any interested buyer, it is open to talks for this division with Chinese, Korean or Japanese automakers.
As of now, although it has debunked the asset sale rumours, Chrysler will have to think out of the box to make itself viable after accepting $4-billion loan out of the $7 billion it has asked from the US government early this month. (See: Chrysler receives $4 billion from US treasury)
Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, a vocal critic of bailing out the big three Detroit automakers, had visited the Detroit auto show this week and suggested that Chrysler should merge with General Motors if it intends to become economically viable.
This suggestion by Senator Corker, is an absolute turnaround to his previous aggressive stand that he had taken in the Senate when he said that Chrysler was only asking for bailout money to delay the marriage proceedings with GM.
In the meanwhile, Chrysler and Ford have said that they would not take part in the Tokyo Motor Show to be held this year as it wants to save on costs amid declining sales.
An automaker typically spends millions of dollars in an Auto show and last year GM had spent 2 million in the Tokyo Auto Show.
This year big names in the auto industry like Nissan Motor, Suzuki Motor and Porsche did not take part in the Detroit Auto Show to save on cost.