2012 FIAT 500

The U.S. Treasury announced Thursday it has sold the rest of its shares of Chrysler Group LLC to Italian automaker FIAT. This move makes FIAT the majority owner of Chrysler, with a 53.5 percent stake, The Detroit News reports.

“With today's closing, the US government has exited its investment in Chrysler at least six years earlier than expected,” Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Tim Massad says in a statement released Thursday.

The Treasury department says it received $500 million from FIAT to buy its 6 percent stake in the automaker, as well as $60 million as part of a United Auto Workers (UAW) retirement trust agreement.

U.S. taxpayers ended up losing money from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) investment in Chrysler. “Overall, $1.3 billion will not be recovered from the bankrupt Old Chrysler," CNNMoney.com reports. The Treasury says it gave $12.5 billion to Chrysler Group to keep it afloat during the recession, and more than $11.2 billion of that has been repaid.

“The U.S. exit ends a 30-month involvement of two administrations in saving the company from collapse, beginning with the Bush administration's decision to bail out Chrysler with $4 billion in December 2008,” The Detroit News reports.

FIAT, who took over the reins at Chrysler in 2009 when the automaker went through its bankruptcy restructuring, recently introduced its FIAT 500 compact car to the U.S. market.

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