Chrysler and Fiat seal their partnership

ITALIAN carmaker Fiat and Detroit giant Chrysler said yesterday their ambitious partnership deal is now in action, a day after the US Supreme Court gave it the go-ahead. <br /><br />The tie-up will see Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne become the new head of Chrysler. In a message last night to his new employees he said he has &ldquo;no doubt&rdquo; the carmaker will succeed as a more &ldquo;focused and nimble&rdquo; operation. <br /><br />Under the deal, Chrysler&rsquo;s good assets will be put into a new firm, 20 per cent owned by Fiat. Workers&rsquo; union The United Auto Workers (UAW) will take 55 per cent of the new company, and the US and Canadian governments will share a 10 per cent stake.<br /><br />Chrysler&rsquo;s three brands also have new leaders &ndash; Michael Manley will lead Jeep, Michael Accavitti will run Dodge and Peter Fong will be in charge of Chrysler<br /><br />Fiat will now focus on using its extensive distribution network to try to boost Chrysler&rsquo;s sales in Latin America and Russia.<br /><br />The deal will see Fiat hand over green technology and intellectual property &ndash; not cash &ndash; for its Chrysler stake. It is expected to revive the giant&rsquo;s flagging product range<br /><br />Jim Press, formerly one of Chrysler&rsquo;s two presidents, was named as the group&rsquo;s new deputy chief executive. He will be a &ldquo;special adviser&rdquo; to Marchionne. <br /><br />The US Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal against the takeover from three Indiana state pension and construction funds that are Chrysler bondholders, who said the deal unfairly favoured the union.