Less than 24 hours remain to save one of the biggest names in American motoring. Chrysler’s workers agreed last night to bite the bullet on what unions called “painful” compromises on pay and pensions and accept Fiat’s takeover plan. But that may not be enough.
“Full-on liquidation would have been fairly well devastating, not just for Detroit, but for a large part of the country. We have to understand that the majority of people employed in the auto industry are not in the manufacturing or engineering end. They’re at the dealership level, and they’re spread around the entire country,” says one auto industry analyst. But bankruptcy could still be on the cards if a group of hedge funds refuse to write off Chrysler’s massive debt, without which Fiat, on a knife-edge itself, says it will walk away from the deal.