We’ll run through the paragraph piece by piece. Yes, Obama did take GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy in early 2009, as Romney had earlier suggested in an opinion piece in The New York Times. But the Obama administration arranged for government debtor-in-place financing to take the firms through bankruptcy court, while Romney envisioned the private marketplace providing that money. Given the extent the world’s financial woes at the time, Romney’s expectation might have been unrealistic.
Yes, Italians did buy Chrysler. Cerberus Capital, Chrysler’s previous owner, had been talking to Fiat about a deal; the Obama administration’s auto task force quickly told the parties they had to reach a merger agreement or Chrysler would lose the government loans keeping it afloat. After Chrysler's bankruptcy, Fiat emerged with a 20 percent stake in the firm and operational control.
It’s also possible that the Italians who own Chrysler are going to build Jeeps – perhaps Chrysler’s most valuable auto brand – in China. In an e-mail to employees Tuesday, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne repeated a previous announcement that the firm is thinking of restarting a Jeep assembly line in China closed in 2009 to supply the local market.
In the e-mail, Mr. Marchionne adds that the Chinese market would be inaccessible otherwise. Beijing keeps tight control of the nation’s car marketplace; tariffs and other regulations render it off limits to foreign-made mass market models.