Chrysler Group LLC has been a cornerstone of the U.S. automotive industry for decades, but it is only now that the automaker will have an office in downtown Detroit, reports Automotive News. Approximately 70 employees will take up office in the top two floors of Detroit’s historic 23-story Dime Building, which is currently owned by Dan Gilbert, CEO of Rock Ventures LLC, owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers franchise and Quicken Loans founder.
Home away from home
The majority of the employees will relocate from Chrysler’s Auburn Hills, Mich., headquarters, and once the transfer occurs, the Dime Building will be renamed “Chrysler House,” noted Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne.
While Chrysler’s presence in Michigan and the area surrounding downtown Detroit has been significant, not having a presence in the middle of Motor City was a wrong that needed to be made right.
“Detroit is the place that we feel at home,” said Marchionne.
The vast majority of the 70 employees will relocate from Auburn Hills by mid-2012. The Chrysler House office will offer about 33,000 square feet of space.
Chrysler achieves where others fail
An April 26 statement notes that for the first quarter of 2012, Chrysler Group LLC’s net income more than quadrupled when compared with net income at the same time last year. Profit reached $473 million, after a mere $116 million after the first quarter of 2011. The 200 and 300 series sedans contributed mightily to Chrysler’s U.S. market share dominance.
Overall sales for Chrysler are up 25 percent to $16.4 billion since the automaker aired the landmark “Halftime in America” commercial during the Super Bowl which featured Clint Eastwood. Over the same period, Chrysler’s competitors experienced nowhere near the same success. Numerous sources indicate that in April, Chrysler experienced a 20 percent sales increase, while much of the competition lost ground.
Helping Fiat in Europe
Net income forecasts by Chrysler see a rise of $1.5 billion in 2012, buoying results for majority owner Fiat S.p.A. While Fiat 500 sales in the U.S. have been brisk, Fiat sales in Europe have suffered as the debt crisis has wreaked havoc.
Thanks to April
Chrysler’s April success – and in the first quarter overall – is reportedly the company’s most profitable performance since the third quarter of 1998. Marchionne hopes that by merging Chrysler and Fiat, overall sales will see a $132 billion boost by 2014. An initial public offering is not expected this year.