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Chrysler cutting up to 12,000 more jobs in effort to slash costs

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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 in Michigan.

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.

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Chrysler cutting up to 12,000 more jobs in effort to slash costs
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