Chrysler -- The People's Car Company?

Maybe itís time for Chryslerís employees to buy the company.

Think about it: Cerberus is negotiating to purchase Daimlerís 20-percent share of Chrysler LLC. Supposedly that will make it easier for Cerberus to package and sell the whole shebang. But it isnít at all clear who might acquire it.

Several potential buyers -- Magna, General Motors, Nissan-Renault -- surfaced before Cerberus snapped up Chrysler. None of those companies seem like plausible bidders today -- not even Nissanís Carlos Ghosn, who negotiated a deal to let Chrysler supply him with pickups.

My modest recommendation: Let Chryslerís employees buy the company. Organize an ESOP -- an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. As part of its turnaround, Chrysler will have to demand further sacrifices from its employees. Theyíll make those sacrifices if they can expect commensurate rewards.

Heck, you could even market Chrysler as the Peopleís Automaker. Give a customer ten shares of stock with the sale of each new car or truck.

If Wall Street gets bailed out by taxpayers, Main Street will be crowded with populists. You're trying to sell those people a car.

So whose side would you want to be on?

25

Shares

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Over the last few months, Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Newsletters