By giving up 35% of itself to Fiat, Chrysler has given itself access to successful small car tooling and technology in the hopes of proving to doubtful US political forces that they have a plan on how to move forward as a going concern. One wonders exactly what it was that gained Chrysler access to $4B in loan guarantees a month ago (before this deal was settled), but I suppose that isn't important now.
The question of whether the American taxpayer should be subsidizing the profits of an Italian automaker has arisen as a result of this deal, and it should be taken head on. The bottom line here---if the government decides that it is going to save the US auto industry, it cannot and should not be too choosy as to how that gets done (save of course, sparingly using dollars from our own treasury). If saving US jobs is what this whole debate is about, then Fiat's money is as good as anyone else's. This truly is a global economy, and hanging onto some quaint notion of American ownership of global businesses doesn't make sense anymore (whoops--I guess it didn't when Daimler Benz owned Chrysler!)