Chrysler Suitor Seeks Help
Chrysler Suitor Seeks Auto Execs Help
by Jenny McLane
The red flag signals the bid battle among Chrysler Groups potential
purchasers. And the challenge is for them to satisfy. In order to put up
a good fight, Chryslers suitors have sought considerable help from top
executives in the auto industry.
Bernhard and Rewey, former top auto officials in the industry, will
help the Cerberus Capital Management compete with potential bidders for
Chrysler. Cerberus has managed to come up with an all-star team of former
auto executives spearheaded by Wolfgang Bernhard to boosts its efforts
to purchase the ailing automaker.
Private equity needs experienced people in the industry to help
understand the challenges, noted Colin Blaydon, the director of the Center
for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship at the Tuck School of Business
With Bernhard on the steering wheel, Cerberus is expected to gear up
for a heated battle with competitor Blackstone Group which is a
private-equity giant. In the race to acquire Chrysler, Cerberus wanted to take
advantage of the best it has hence it made Bernhard the adviser and
tapped Robert Rewey, former Ford Motor Co. executive to aid in its bid for
the troubled American division of DaimlerChrysler AG.
According to the people familiar to the situation, Bernhard, Chryslers
former chief operating officer, met with Cerberus officials this week
to decide on the strategy for the potential sale of Chrysler.
Cerberus is competing with Blackstone and Centerbridge Partners, a new
private-equity firm that include former ace auto analyst Stephen Girsky
as its top executive. According to people familiar to the situation,
other potential bidders for Chrysler include the General Motors Corp. and
Canadian auto supplier Magna International.
The Chrysler Group was essentially put up for sale 14 February when
DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche said the German automaker was exploring
all options for its American unit. The unit has three brands –
Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep. The most problematic brand among the three is
Chrysler. The rest of the brands are doing pretty well.
Dodge and Jeep are trying different strategies to win over customers.
As a fact, it entertained online adventures and films as well as other
advertising strategies to boost sales. The brands are also famous for
being flexible. Add-ons like the auto ventshade could be used to dress
The sources also said that DaimlerChrysler is expecting to receive
formal bids for Chrysler by the end of March. Teams from Cerberus and the
Blackstone and Centerbridge group visited Chrysler headquarters in
Auburn Hills earlier this month. Representatives from the two companies have
also met with Daimlers officials in Stuttgart, Germany.
About the Author
Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for
research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as
a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the