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Local Chrysler dealer here for its customers

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'Big Three' manufacturer will be reorganized

By Stephen Lega

Chrysler LLC will be filing for bankruptcy and beginning a corporate alliance with Fiat SpA, an Italian automotive company.

Chrysler will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under the direction of the U.S. Treasury Department, according to information on the company's corporate website.

Meanwhile, Pickerill Motor Company in Lebanon will remain open for business.

Pickerill Motor is the only new car dealership in Marion County, and it has been a Chrysler dealership since 1934. It sells new vehicles by Chrysler and its affiliated brands, Dodge and Jeep.

"We'll be here to take care of our customers," said Bill Pickerill, co-owner of the dealership.

Starting Monday, Chrysler temporarily halted its manufacturing operations, although the company intends to resume production within 30 to 60 days, according to the Chrysler corporate website.

Pickerill also provided more information about the corporate restructuring program. As part of the restructuring agreement, the U.S. and Canadian governments will own 10 percent of the company, the Voluntary Employee Benefits Association will own 55 percent of the company and Fiat will have 20 percent ownership, with the option of gaining a large ownership share provided it meets specific criteria. That includes bringing more fuel efficient automobiles (getting 40 miles per gallon) to be produced in the United States by Chrysler and giving Chrysler access to Fiat's global distribution network.

Customers may want to know that vehicle warranties will remain in effect and will be honored, according to Chrysler's website. The federal government is guaranteeing warranties for new Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles purchased between March 30 and June 30.

Also, Mopar, Chrysler's automotive parts and service division, will continue to be part of the company, according to Chrysler's website.

For more information, visit www.chryslerllc.com/en/news/.