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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

GM China executive departing for Chrysler

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GM China executive departing for Chrysler
Phil Murtaugh departs joint venture to take position at Chrysler
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Link to Original Article @ CNNMoney | September 7 2007: 10:16 AM EDT


SHANGHAI (AP) -- Chrysler lured its second high-profile executive in as many days, appointing SAIC Motor's Phil Murtaugh as chief executive of its Asian operations Friday.

Murtaugh has served as vice president of GM's joint venture partner in China since June 2006.

Chrysler is quickly assembling an executive team under new private equity owner Cerberus Capital Management. On Thursday Toyota's (Charts) top North American executive, Jim Press, was named vice chairman and president.

Cerberus announced Aug. 6 that Robert Nardelli, the former CEO of Home Depot Inc., would become Chrysler's chairman and chief executive. Later in August, Chrysler hired Deborah Wahl Meyer, 44, a top marketing executive from Toyota's Lexus luxury brand and a colleague of Press.

Murtaugh, who joined SAIC in June 2006, called a job with Chrysler "an offer I just cannot turn down."

His experience heading GM's joint venture with state-owned SAIC, and as chief executive officer of South Korea's Ssangyong Motor, will be an asset for Chrysler as it attempts to expand in Asia.

Global growth is a key part of the recovery plan for Chrysler, which has struggled to make a profit in the face of falling sales and skyrocketing pension and retiree health costs.

Cerberus' Chrysler bombshell

Chrysler recently announced a deal with China's biggest independent car company, Chery Automobile, to jointly produce and export cars to Western Europe and the United States.

SAIC applauded Murtaugh's contribution to the Shanghai-based automaker's efforts to build up its own-brand business after nearly a decade of working with GM.

Murtaugh "contributed his rich experience in the auto industry and demonstrated solid capabilities as a professional manager," SAIC said in a statement.

SAIC has partnerships with both GM (Charts, Fortune 500) and Germany's Volkswagen (Charts), but has begun selling cars under its own Roewe brand.

Automaker, union talks may run past deadline

Murtaugh's departure appeared to take many in the industry by surprise, though the move was not out of character for the former chief of General Motors' China operations.

Murtaugh was widely credited with helping GM establish a leading presence in the increasingly competitive Chinese market. He abruptly left the Detroit-based automaker in 2005 after nearly five years with GM's China Group, citing "personal reasons."

He had spent 32 years with GM, where he played a key role in the launch of Shanghai GM, the company's biggest mainland venture.
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Cerberus appears to have a plan. Too bad they couldn't land Wolfgang Bernhard.

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Ahhh, Phil Murtaugh, God the memories that man has given me. He ran the Wilmington Assembly plant with an Iron Fist when he was the plant manager. I think he actually increased my vocabulary of American curse words more than anyone on the planet. He wasn't very tall but boy did his voice BOOM! I think he could say Fu*k 50 different ways in 50 different tones! :P

His brother Pete who worked in Wilmington too, was the complete opposite. Phil is the man, if anyone can get Chrysler moving he can, and I bet he can say Fu*k in Chinese now too, in 50 different tones. :yes:

Phil buddy, you're the man! :smilewide:

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Cerberus is collecting some key players and looks to have big plans to get Chrysler back in the game.

Edited by Dodgefan
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Cerberus appears to have a plan.

They do. Unlike what many people think, Private Equity firms are not a bunch of idiots.
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They do. Unlike what many people think, Private Equity firms are not a bunch of idiots.

True to the word. I think they have a definite plan. Based on the signals they are sending I hope they do not break Chrysler in pieces and sell it when it becomes profitable.

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yeah, but look at the US olympic basketball team. A bunch of big names, overfed, boom, they lose.

typical american approach, big money thrown at big names and big egos.

this sort of approach does work, but not all the time. look at all the terrible movies made in hollywood with big budgets.

it sure is nice to have all these big shooters on the team but that doesn't make the chrylser interiors any less disgusting or the styling of its cars any more palatable for anyone besides the bling crowd. It doesn't put a real competitive mainstream appeal midsize sedan competitor on the showroom floor now. it doesn't make the 300 and magnum look any more dated. it doesn't make the pickups any less out of date.

Cerebus is probably looking at turning chrysler into management and marketing company here and will probably try to move ALL production to china, india, wherever they can whore it out to. then nardelli can exit stage left with say, a quarter billion payout for himself this time.

Edited by regfootball
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I will have to post an article about I read about Cerberus and how the company works...it's a very interesting read.

Edited by Dodgefan
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They're going to prop up the value and sell Chrysler to some poor, unsuspecting dope in order to make a quick return on their investment. Thats the master plan.

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They're going to prop up the value and sell Chrysler to some poor, unsuspecting dope in order to make a quick return on their investment. Thats the master plan.

$20.52

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True to the word. I think they have a definite plan. Based on the signals they are sending I hope they do not break Chrysler in pieces and sell it when it becomes profitable.

That is solely an issue of value, from a sellers standpoint.

But bringing in a CEO from outside the car business and hiring someone like this guy is telling me Cerberus won't break Chrysler in pieces.

Edited by ZL-1
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