It’s hard to imagine that less than ten years ago Chrysler commanded a 16.1% share of the US market and was turning over billion dollar profits. In 1999 it reported a profit of $5 billion, which also happened to be the first year of its alliance with Daimler.

Compare that with the $1.98 billion loss last quarter and you start to understand why Chrysler’s savior during the ‘80s, Lee Iacocca, told reporters from BusinessWeek that he felt "Daimler screwed Chrysler royally".

During the same period, Chrysler’s workforce shrunk from 126,800 employees to just over 80,000 today, and this number is expected to fall further by 2009.

Back on its own, Chrysler now hopes to return to its pre-merger glory days. Back when the then new 300, PT Cruiser and Ram pickup were all exciting and unique. The carmaker's five top sellers either fell into the truck, SUV, or minivan categories, all segments that have shrunk considerably over the past decade.

An article from Associated Press reports that Chrysler will find it tough as an independent firm and will once again need to take on a global partner down the track. The turnaround plan is already well underway. A deal with China's Chery Auto will see Chrysler sell a Chinese built vehicle in the US, a minicar that will be based on its previous Dodge Hornet concept.

Last year saw ten new models released, with four out already this year. But to be truly great, Chrysler will have to improve its mid-size offerings, a segment that accounts for 13% of the US market. There are definitely some exciting models on the drawing board. Vehicles like the Dodge Demon or Chrysler Imperial are all production possibilities with the backing of its new owner, Cerberus.