The Chrysler brand logo at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show
Patrick Rall's picture

Chrysler to pay profit sharing bonuses, first since 2005

Late last week, the Chrysler Group announced that they had posted their first profit since 2005 and that major news story came with a good bit of news for the company’s employees – as the Chrysler Group announced that they would be issuing their first profit sharing bonus to hourly employees since 2005.

In an email to the Chrysler Group’s hourly employees, company CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that each worker would be receiving a profit sharing bonus of $1,500 for their work and the success of the automaker in 2011. Marchionne’s statement to the workers included this powerful line: "This is a reward that you have earned. Your efforts rewrote the history that so many naysayers had forecast." The last time that the Chrysler Group paid profit sharing bonuses was in 2005, which also marked the last time (before this past year) where Chrysler didn’t lose money throughout the year. Chrysler ended up posting a net profit of $183 million last year, selling just over 2,000,000 vehicles globally.

Chrysler achieved a strong year while regularly leading the American auto industry in year over year growth, as well as leading the industry in overall annual growth. The good news is that Chrysler began 2012 the same way that it ended 2011 – with massive improvements in sales thanks to their new or refreshed models. Also, with new models like the 2013 Dodge Dart set to hit the streets later this year, the Chrysler Group should finally have a car that can compete in the uber-hot compact sedan segment.

Based on the current success of the Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Chrysler lineups and combined with the expected success of the new Dodge Dart, the company can expect to post another profit for 2012…although the end of this year is a long way off and lots of things can go wrong between then and now. Should the Dodge Dart truly step up and compete with the heavy hitters in the segment like the Chevy Cruze, the new Ford Focus and the Hyundai Elantra; the Dart would instantly be one of the bestselling cars in America and an addition like that is sure to make a major positive impact on the company’s bottom line for 2012.

Ford Motor Company announced in late January that their employees would be getting both profit sharing bonuses and raised based on the company’s success in 2011 – although the exact details of those bonuses and raises are based more on individual performance rather than overall company success. Because of that, no exact dollar value was assigned to the bonuses so it creates some difficulty in comparing Ford’s bonuses to those paid by Chrysler but for the hourly workers from the Chrysler Group, receiving the first profit sharing bonuses since 2005 has to come as a wonderful late Christmas present.

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