Chrysler reports $690m loss

Detroit - Chrysler Group lost $690 million in the first quarter due to charges related to its merger with Italian automaker Fiat SpA.

Fiat paid $3.65 billion to acquire Chrysler's remaining shares in January.

Jeep Compass and Patriot vehicles move down an assembly line at the Chrysler Belvidere Assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois. Credit: Reuters

As part of the deal, Chrysler agreed to pay $700 million to upgrade its factories.

Chrysler took a $672 million charge in the first quarter to meet those commitments.

It also booked a $540 million non-cash loss to extinguish debt.

Without those one-time items, Chrysler would have earned $486 million, more than double the $166 million it earned in the January-March period a year ago.

Revenue rose 23 percent to $19 billion.

Worldwide vehicle sales jumped 10 percent to 621,000, as Chrysler saw strong sales of the new Jeep Cherokee SUV and Ram pickup. - Sapa-AP