Can Chrysler Be Cured?

It's a health-care company with car issues. And fixing it may require reshaping the U.S. auto industry

Jeff Haynes / AFP Photo

A worker at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan polishes the sign at the Chrysler display.

On May 14, German automaker DaimlerChrysler announced that it would pay private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management of New York City $675 million to take a bunch of old people's medical problems off its hands.

True, there was a carmaker thrown in as part of the deal, and Cerberus agreed to invest a few billion dollars to help get struggling Chrysler back on its feet. Just after the transaction was announced, DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche (he of the big mustache and the TV ads) bristled when a journalist suggested that he had paid Cerberus to cart Chrysler away: "It was clearly stated...

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