US Government Closer to Exiting Auto Industry

Posted July 21st, 2011 at 3:45 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. government is another step closer to getting out of the automobile industry, selling its remaining stake in Chrysler to the Italian automaker Fiat.

The Treasury Department says Fiat paid $560 million Thursday for the government's remaining 6 percent stake in Chrysler.

The U.S. lent Chrysler $12.5 billion as part of its $80 billion bailout of the American auto industry. Fiat assumed management of Chrysler after it emerged from bankruptcy protection and now holds a 52 percent majority interest in the company.

The Treasury Department says it has been reimbursed more than $11.2 billion, including a $5.1 billion payment in May. The department has acknowledged it is unlikely the loan will be repaid in full.

Officials say that since the two companies emerged from bankruptcy in June 2009, the auto industry has added more than 115,000 jobs.

Washington still owns about a 26 percent stake in the largest U.S. automaker, General Motors.