Chrysler LLC plans to cut up to 12,000 more jobs, or up
to 15 per cent of its workforce, as part of an effort to slash costs
and match slowing demand for some of its vehicles.
The automaker said Thursday it will cut 8,500 to 10,000 hourly
jobs through 2008 and reduce salaried employment by about 2,100. It
will eliminate shifts at five North American assembly plants _
including the Brampton, Ont., large-sedan factory _ and eliminate
four products from its lineup.
The cuts come in addition to 13,000 layoffs Chrysler announced in
February as part of a massive restructuring. Those cuts included
11,000 production jobs and 2,000 salaried jobs. The new round of
cuts was expected to involve buyouts or early retirement packages
similar to those made in February.
As part of the new plan, shifts will be cut in Brampton, west of
Toronto, as well as at assembly plants in Belvidere, Ill.; Toledo,
Ohio; Jefferson North in Detroit; and Sterling Heights, Mich. A
shift will also be cut at the company's Mack Avenue engine factory
The announcement came days after the United Auto Workers ratified
a four-year contract with the company.
Chrysler became a private company in August when DaimlerChrysler,
now called Daimler AG, sold 80.1 per cent of the North American
automaker to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP.
``The market situation has changed dramatically in the eight
months since Chrysler established the recovery and transformation
plan as its blueprint,'' stated newly installed chairman and chief
executive Bob Nardelli.
The four models being eliminated are the Dodge Magnum station
wagon, assembled in Brampton; the Chrysler Pacifica crossover
utility vehicle made at the Windsor, Ont., minivan plant; the
convertible version of the Chrysler PT Cruiser; and the Chrysler
Crossfire sports car.
In the same time frame during the next year the company plans to
add two new products, the Dodge Challenger sports coupe to made in
Brampton, and the Dodge Journey crossover.
It also plans to roll out hybrid models of the Chrysler Aspen and
Dodge Durango sport utility vehicles.