February 22, 2009 / 11:19 PM / 9 years ago

Chrysler provides more details to Canada: minister

TORONTO (Reuters) - Chrysler has provided Canada with more details about how it would restructure its operations north of the border after complaints that a plan it submitted on Friday lacked Canada-specific information, the country’s industry minister said on Sunday.

“We did get some more information over the weekend and we’ll be analyzing that as we move forward,” Industry Minister Tony Clement said on CTV’s “Question Period” program.

Clement said Chrysler, controlled by Cerberus Capital Management LP, had been asked to provide more details about the models it would produce at its plants in Windsor and Brampton, Ontario, as well as more specifics about its overall strategy in Canada, where about 25 percent of its manufacturing capacity is located.

The minister did not say whether Chrysler had now provided all the information that the federal and Ontario provincial governments required before making a decision on any assistance for the struggling automaker, or whether more details were forthcoming.

The Canadian governments had set Friday as a deadline for Detroit automakers to submit long-term restructuring plans in support of their requests for loans to help them get through a severe industrywide crisis.

Chrysler on Friday forwarded the governments a copy of the “long-term viability plan” it had submitted to the U.S. Treasury earlier in the week in support of its request for aid from Washington.

In a cover letter, it said it did not break out a separate Canadian plan because the North American auto industry was totally integrated.

“In a sense, we do have an integrated market,” Clement said on Sunday. “But at the same time that we’re talking about Canadian taxpayers’ dollars, we do want to have some specifics about what exactly is going to be on in Canada. ... I think that message did get through.”

On Friday, the Canadian arm of General Motors Corp also submitted a restructuring plan in support of a request for repayable loans to support its foundering operations.

Both automakers said they would ask Canada to give them assistance that was in proportion to their manufacturing capacity in the country.

GM pledged to maintain 17 percent to 20 percent of its production in Canada, while Chrysler said it had 25 percent of its capacity there.

In their plans, neither company put a specific dollar amount to what they would ask Canada to provide. However, GM said it was asking Washington for up to C$30 billion ($24 billion) while Chrysler said it was asking the U.S. Treasury for up to $9 billion in loans, or about C$11 billion.

In late December, Canada said it would provide C$4 billion in emergency loans to the cash-strapped automakers. GM Canada is eligible for loans of up to $C3 billion under the package, while Chrysler Canada is eligible for up to C$1 billion.

Chrysler had not yet asked for anything beyond the C$1 billion in bridge financing that it requested late last year, Clement added.

The Canadian arm of Ford Motor Co has not asked for immediate assistance.

($1=$1.25 Canadian)

Editing by Gary Crosse

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