Chrysler remaking company

Chrysler announced that it plans to cut as many as 12,000 more employees from its hourly and salaried ranks, while cutting four vehicles from his product lineup.

The Dodge Magnum, the convertible version of Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Pacifica and Chrysler Crossfire all get axed for 2008, although the company is adding the Dodge Journey crossover and Dodge Challenger, which won rave reviews at during the 2007 auto show circuit, as well as two new hybrids: the Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango.

Sales on the Pacifica in particular have dropped off the table and it was time to move onto a newer and more exciting crossover, like the Journey. The Challenger helps keep Dodge’s reputation as a muscle car machine intact. The elimination of the low-volume Crossfire is not a surprise as it never developed the allegiance that they expected.

Many of the hourly job reductions are coming through the elimination of third-shift production at five plants. Three of the five plants affected by this action are the result of elimination of third shifts in Belvedere, Ill.; Toledo, Ohio, and Brampton, Ontario. The company is cutting second shift production at Sterling Heights, Mich. and Detroit, Mich. plants as well.

The cuts are being made in response to the drop in demand for Chrysler vehicles.

“We have to move now to adjust the way our company looks and acts to reflect a smaller market,” added Tom LaSorda, Chrysler vice chairman and president in a released statement. “That means a cost base that is right-sized and an appropriate level of plant utilization.”

Additional actions include reductions of salaried employment by 1,000 and supplemental (contract) employment by 37%. The company also plans to eliminate hourly and salaried overtime and reduce purchased services.