Chrysler employees to get $750 bonuses

Despite net loss in fourth quarter, profit projected for 2011

Hourly workers at Chrysler Group in Canada and the United States will receive a $750 bonus for 2010, according to media reports.

About 22,000 U.S. and 7,600 Canadian hourly employees will each receive the bonus on Feb. 11, according to LouAnn Gosselin, spokeswoman at Chrysler Canada. Salaried employees will also receive a bonus.

An email sent out by Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced the reward. Employees deserved the recognition for helping the automaker launch 16 new or refreshed vehicles during challenging times, he said in a conference call.

"We have had discussions with the CAW and UAW over this issue," he told analysts. "It's in recognition of an extraordinary performance of the industrial system of Chrysler in 2010."

The company, managed by Fiat, reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2010 but projected its sales would grow by one-third in 2011, said Reuters.

Canada's "significant performance" was noted by Marchionne, as market share rose to 13 per cent last year compared to 11 per cent in 2009, according to media reports. In the U.S., Chrysler's market share rose to 9.2 per cent from 8.8 per cent.

"We have slowly recovered from the low volumes of 2009, up 15 per cent," said Marchionne. “Our market share in Canada has been exceptionally good."

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