Carmaker Chrysler has announced it is to cut its production line workforce by up to 10,000, lay off 1,000 office workers and eliminate many contract positions. Chrysler’s new private equity owner Cerberus said the cuts will come over the next 14 months as the carmaker slashes production in North America and stops making four models that are poor sellers.
Former chief executive Tom La-Sorda – now in charge of manufacturing – said the company must “reflect a smaller market.’‘ The layoffs are in addition to the 13,000 jobs that Chrysler cut as part of a restructuring plan announced in February. It will also make 400,000 fewer cars per year.
Chrysler explained that the deeper cuts reflect a weakening of market demand since February, with car sales industrywide now expected to be “significantly lower” than the pace at the beginning of this year and that trend carrying over into 2008. Chrysler, which was bought by Cerberus in August, saw its sales drop 3% in the first nine months of 2007. Former Chrysler owner Daimler has retained a stake of nearly 20% in the company.