Chrysler reported a loss of almost $2 billion in the first quarter of 2007. In a similar period last year, the company posted pre-tax earnings of $857 million.
Onlookers expect Nardelli to take a tough approach to Chrysler's ad budget, like he did at Home Depot. During his six years there, he cut $100 million from the retailer's much smaller adspend.
"While Nardelli was intrigued with marketing, he never really figured it out," a former Home Depot manager said. "He views marketing as another expense to cut, as opposed to an investment to grow the business."