TORONTO (Bloomberg) -- Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne said the carmaker may undertake an initial public offering next year and he prefers that General Motors Co. goes first.
“Probably 2011,” Marchionne told reporters in Toronto Thursday when asked about the timing of a listing. May is “turning out to be a good month” for sales and the U.S. market is “on the mend,” he said.
Marchionne, who is also CEO of Fiat, plans to list Chrysler and spin off the Turin, Italy-based unit's automotive operations from divisions that make trucks and tractors. He has said Fiat expects to boost its Chrysler stake to 25 percent this year by meeting a target to introduce its 500 small car in the U.S.
He said there will be enough investor demand for both Chrysler and GM to sell shares to the public during the next year or so.
“I think there is enough appetite, and I am always respectful of the bigger guy,” he said, referring to GM, led by CEO Ed Whitacre.
“Let him go, he's been itching to go. I spoke to Ed a while back, he wants to go public,” Marchionne said.
Fiat acquired a 20 percent stake in Chrysler after the U.S. company reorganized with $15 billion of government support.
The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based automaker exited bankruptcy in June with government aid. Fiat can obtain as much as 35 percent of Chrysler. The U.S. has about 9.9 percent, Canada owns 2.5 percent and a UAW trust for retiree medical care holds 67.7 percent, according to bankruptcy court documents.