Chrysler IPO not likely until 2012: Marchionne

TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) - A public share offering for Chrysler is more likely to occur in 2012 than this year because the automaker needs a longer track record of performance, the company's chief executive said on Friday.

Sergio Marchionne, who is also the CEO of Fiat SpA <FIA.MI>, spoke to reporters after an appearance by President Barack Obama at a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio.

Obama said that the U.S. Treasury would sell its 6 percent equity interest in Chrysler to Fiat for $500 million. Fiat's stake in Chrysler will rise to 52 percent from 46 percent when the transaction closes.

Marchionne also said an IPO is still the easiest way to monetize the United Auto Workers health care trust, which owns 45.7 percent of Chrysler. Marchionne said a share offering would still be possible if Fiat itself were to buy that interest.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman. Editing by Robert MacMillan)