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Chrysler CEO Nardelli responds to GM announcing merger talks are off

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Chrysler LLC just released a statement from Bob Nardelli in which the CEO responds, in a way, to General Motors' third quarter earnings report. In the report, GM acknowledged that it had "recently explored the possibility of a strategic acquisition". While not citing Chrysler by name, we all know the strategic acquisition in question is the Auburn Hills-based automaker currently owned by private equity group Cerberus Capital Management. Nardelli responds by comically not confirming that his company was GM's target, reiterating for the umpteenth time that Chrysler doesn't talk about its business dealings with other companies because they often lead nowhere, like in this case we suppose. Of course, though his response confirms nothing, its mere existence confirms everything. All Nardelli does say is that Chrysler will continue to explore "multiple strategic alliances" that will aid its own turnaround effort. Carlos Ghosn, the prominent figurehead of Nissan/Renault whose companies were also on the short list of merger partners for Chrysler, should check his voicemail right about now.

Check out Nardelli's statement in his own words after the jump.


Chrysler LLC Statement from Bob Nardelli, Chairman and CEO

Auburn Hills, Mich., Nov 7, 2008 -

Today GM released their third quarter results which included the following statement, I wanted to share with you:

"In addition, we have recently explored the possibility of a strategic acquisition that we believed would generate significant cost reduction synergies and substantially strengthen our financial position in the medium and long term, while being neutral or modestly positive to cash flow even in the near term. While the acquisition could potentially have provided significant benefits, we have concluded that it is more important at the present time to focus on our immediate liquidity challenges, and, accordingly, we have set aside consideration of such a transaction as a near-term priority. We frequently discuss matters of mutual interest with other auto manufacturers and, as a matter of policy, we generally do not comment on these private discussions, which in many cases, do not lead anywhere."

As we have previously stated, Chrysler LLC neither confirms nor discloses the nature of its private business meetings, as many times they do not come to fruition.

Returning Chrysler to profitability continues to be the key focus of the management team. We are significantly challenged by today's economic environment and by the automotive industry's unprecedented downturn. As an independent Company, we will continue to explore multiple strategic alliances or partnerships as we investigate growth opportunities around the world that would aid in our return to profitability.

As we've shared, we appreciated the opportunity to meet with Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team, as well as with Senate Majority Leader Reid to discuss the challenges facing the industry. We are encouraged by their understanding of the importance of the automotive industry to the economy and we look forward to working with them on these issues. We would also like to acknowledge that UAW President Ron Gettelfinger was present at these meetings and added his support.

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