AP Interview: Iacocca urges fast loan repayments

DETROIT, MI – Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca, who led the automaker out of a previous near-collapse, says priority one for the automakers is to get the government out of the mix as soon as possible.

While Iacocca says government intervention was necessary for both Chrysler and GM, "Their oversight is just too extreme."

In an interview with The Associated Press, he says he's optimistic that Detroit automakers can rebound and has faith that Fiat Group SpA CEO Sergio Marchionne will rescue Chrysler. He said he's also impressed with how Ford's leadership has kept America's No. 2 automaker free of government loans.

Iacocca says he's apprehensive about GM's future, because it has serious problems, some of which stem from the sheer size of the company.

Iacocca says Chrysler's marriage to Fiat still faces challenges, including somehow navigating through what he predicts will be another year of recession.