Chrysler said on Wednesday that it earned $464 million in the third quarter. That was a 22% gain from the $381 million it earned in the third quarter of last year.
That gain came despite major delays in shipping the all-new Jeep Cherokee due to a problem with the model's transmission software. Those delays were expected to hit Chrysler's third-quarter profits hard, but strong demand for the automaker's Ram pickups and its other SUVs was enough to offset the Cherokee's problems.
That's a good result for Chrysler in a difficult situation. But as Motley Fool contributor John Rosevear explains in this video, Chrysler's strong profit is a mixed blessing for majority owner Fiat (NASDAQOTH: FIATY). The Italian automaker needs those profits to offset its own losses, but if the U.S. company is too profitable Chrysler's remaining shares -- which Fiat very much wants to buy -- could get very expensive.