Following losses amounting to $1 billion for the first half of the year, U.S. automaker Chrysler, now run by Cerberus Capital Management, has announced 1,825 job cuts. Chrysler is also closing one assembly plant at Newark, Delaware, and has announced that it is has no plans of shifting production of two hybrid vehicles, the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen SUV, which were manufactured in this plant.
"We think there is a strong interest in the market for hybrid technology and we are excited about the Dodge Ram in 2010," Chrysler spokesman Stuart Schorr said. "We had good demand for the hybrid versions; unfortunately demand for those products alone is not enough to sustain the plant."
It is unclear at this time whether the Durango and Aspen nameplates will return and if Chrysler will build SUV hybrids in the future. Planned renovations at the auto maker's Jefferson Assembly plant in Detroit will allow for the production of a "family" of SUVs but Schorr couldn't comment on the auto maker's future product plans.
Chrysler said it is also planning to cut a shift at its Toledo, Ohio, plant also effective Dec. 31. The move will throw 825 hourly employees out of work. Toledo now will operate only one shift starting next year. The Dodge Nitro and Jeep Liberty are both produced in Toledo.
"The markets are facing unprecedented turmoil, and we are in a time of historic change in the auto industry," Frank Ewasyshyn, Chrysler's executive vice president of manufacturing, said in a statement. "These tough, but necessary steps are vital to our long-term viability."
Chrysler's current manufacturing and financial situation are sure to fan speculation that Cerberus Capital Management LP, Chrysler's majority owner, will sell off the auto maker. It has been widely reported that Cerberus is shopping around the company to a number of potential buyers, including General Motors Corp. and an existing alliance between Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Posted by Chrissy at 5:32 PM