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Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2007

Chrysler to cut 13,000 jobs, idle plant

February 15, 2007

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— For 13,000 Chrysler workers, Feb. 14 will now be known as the Valentine's Day massacre.

Wednesday in Auburn Hills, Chrysler announced its long-awaited restructuring, which included a 16 percent reduction in its work force, shift reductions, a plant closing and a surprise hint that the plan could lead to a DaimlerChrysler divorce.

The Chrysler plan calls for closing the company's Newark, Del., assembly plant, and reducing shifts at plants in Warren, Mich., and St. Louis. A parts distribution center near Cleveland also will be closed, and reductions could occur at other plants that make components for those facilities.

Chrysler blamed the wrenching restructuring on poor sales after a shift in consumer taste from SUVs and trucks to more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Aside from the job cuts, Chrysler's German parent, DaimlerChrysler AG, said it is looking at all options to revive its fortunes, including partners for the troubled Chrysler. Its chairman wouldn't rule out a possible sale of the U.S. operation.

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