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How Marchionne Remade Chrysler

In March 2009, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne entered into a process that would result five years later in the Italian automaker taking full ownership of Chrysler, the iconic U.S. auto giant that had filed for bankruptcy.

What Marchionne found when he got control of Chrysler, he told a Brookings audience, was "worse than I thought," including a manufacturing environment that "had been neglected for years." From 2009 to 2013, the company spent $8 billion on retooling Chrysler's production lines.              

In March 2009, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne entered into a process that would result five years later in the Italian automaker taking full ownership of Chrysler, the iconic U.S. auto giant that had filed for bankruptcy.

As Reuters Managing Editor Paul Ingrassa pointed out at a recent examination by the Brookings Institution of the auto bailouts of Chrysler and  General Motors Marchionne is the only auto CEO to have saved two companies,  Fiat a dozen years ago and then Chrysler.

But it wasn't only the engine and transmission lines that Chrysler invested in. Marchionne said the company also made sure to spend money on the parts of the plant that touched employees more personally -- bathrooms, lunchrooms, parking lots and reception areas. Why?

More on Chrysler’s transformation on IndustryWeek.

IndustryWeek is an NED companion site within Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain Group.

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