LLC will cut its fixed costs by $700 million as it seeks an additional $2 billion in emergency federal aid.
That brings the total taxpayer-funded loans sought by the struggling auto maker to $9 billion, having already indicated it needs $3 billion on top of the $4 billion received in December.
To bolster its case for aid,today filed with the U.S. Treasury Dept. a restructuring plan that calls for measures such as cutting 3,000 jobs, reducing production by one shift and removing three models from the its lineup.
Jim Press, Chrysler president and vice chairman, reveals the PT Cruiser small sedan will cease production this summer and the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen fullsize SUVs will not be revived. Durango and Aspen output ended with the Dec. 31 closure of Chrysler’s assembly plant in Newark, DE.
The PT Cruiser is assembled at the auto maker’s plant in Toluca, Mexico.
The restructuring plan is predicated on a market of 10.1 million vehicles this year and an annual average of 10.8 million through 2012.
While the plan submitted to the Treasury calls for Chrysler to “stand alone,” Chairman and CEO Robert Nardelli admits the auto maker’s “best option” for long-term survival would see the completion of a proposed alliance withAuto Group.
A tentativedeal, announced last month, would see the Italian auto maker acquire 35% of Chrysler. In return, Chrysler would gain access to Fiat’s small-car platforms, which portend the rollout of more fuel-efficient vehicles as fuel-economy standards tighten.
However, in a conference call with journalists, Nardelli expresses the partnership can be finalized, calling Chrysler and Fiat “a wonderful match.”
The request for aid comes as the industry faces “an unprecedented decline,” Nardelli says.
Chrysler’s strategic pullout from historically less-profitable fleet sales combined last month with a dearth of available consumer credit to drive down vehicle sales 56.6% vs. like-2008, according to Ward’s data.
The dismal results come on the heels of a 30.3% full-year 2008 falloff, compared with 2007.