The Associated Press July 26, 2011, 4:20PM ET

On the Call: Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne

Chrysler Group LLC said Tuesday that it lost $370 million in the second quarter, but it would have made a profit if not for a $551 million accounting charge for refinancing bailout debts owed to the U.S. and Canadian governments.

Last week, Italian automaker Fiat SpA bought the Chrysler shares owned by the U.S. and Canadian governments to get a 53.5 percent share of Chrysler. Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said he will combine the companies' management in a few days.

He talked about the management structure and government-imposed executive pay restrictions Tuesday on a conference call with reporters and industry analysts.

QUESTION: Since the U.S. government no longer owns part of Chrysler, what is the status of executive compensation restrictions? And under the new management structure will you remain CEO of Chrysler?

MARCHIONNE: "I can't answer the second question because you have to wait for the announcement. But if it's any comfort to you, I really like Chrysler, but it's neither here nor there."

He goes on to say that government restrictions on executive compensation have been lifted.

QUESTION: Will your executives get across-the-board raises when you put the new management team in place?

MARCHIONNE: "No. I think that ... you're assuming that once we're out of jail, that we're going to start distributing cash indiscriminately to return to the old ways of sin," he said. "We're not going to do that. Obviously we want to remain competitive, but I think the industry itself has learned how to be much more cautious and judicious. I think we tend to follow that trend."


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