first_imgDETROIT – Chrysler is an American icon, storied home of Lee Iacocca and the minivan, and it’s once again in American hands after breaking from Daimler AG on Friday. But industry watchers agree that America isn’t where Chrysler’s future lies. The new owner, private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, must help Chrysler expand overseas business if it’s going to successfully restructure the 82-year-old automaker. “A return to industry-leading edgy design is what Chrysler needs to return to a place of prominence in the U.S. market, but in order to survive as a full-line automaker, expansion beyond North America is an absolute must,” said Aaron Bragman, an auto industry analyst with the consulting firm Global Insight. Chrysler became a private company when DaimlerChrysler AG transferred an 80.1 percent stake in the automaker to New York-based Cerberus on Friday in a $7.4 billion deal. The German automaker retained a 19.9 percent interest in the new company, Chrysler LLC. With the closing, Chrysler becomes the first U.S. automaker in private hands since Ford Motor Co. went public in 1956. Chrysler will be free of the short-term quarterly earnings pressures that public companies face since there will be no Chrysler shares. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img