Lee Iacocca Welcomes Fiat to Chrysler

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The man who led the rescue of Chrysler in the 1980s welcomes Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne after the Italian automaker's takeover of the U.S. company.

Ex-Chrysler Corp. chief executive Lee Iacocca signed an open letter to Fiat Group SpA's chief dated Friday, saying he wants "to be among the first to welcome you to a truly unique auto company."

Iacocca wrote as honorary chairman of the National Chrysler Retirement Organization. Group President Chuck Austin also signed.

Iacocca, a former Ford Motor Co. president, helped lead Chrysler back to relevancy after a government bailout in the late 1970s.

The letter thanks the new Fiat-led Chrysler Group LLC for honoring most retiree benefit promises and offers "assistance as advisers in any capacity" the company needs.