Chrysler Group CEO Tom LaSorda travelled to DaimlerChrysler's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, last Wednesday to present a restructuring plan to the company's management board. The Detroit News reports that the plan will involve job cuts and and the closing of at least two plants in the U.S. The plan will be reviewed by the DCX management board and likely announced in February when the company reveals its performance numbers for 2006, which analysts expect to be billions in the red.
Just like Ford with its Way Forward restructuring plan, Chrysler needs to trim down the production side of its business to meet lower demand for its vehicles that led to a loss of $1.5 billion in Q3 of 2006. In addition to shrinking its production capacity, any analyst will tell you that Chrysler also needs more small cars in its lineup, which at the moment is overrun with trucks, minivans and SUVs.
Though the Chrysler Group is still run by Tom LaSorda, many are speculating that Dieter Zetsche wants to bring back his guy pal Wolfgang Bernhard, current head of the Volkswagen brand, to run the stumbling automaker. Other initiatives that are already happening include bringing in executives from Mercedes-Benz to the Chrysler Group reduce the cost of each vehicle it produces by $1,000. Clearly DaimlerChrysler is putting effort into fixing what's broken at the Chrysler Group, though some analysts speculate that the restructuring plan announced in February will be its last attempt before selling off the automaker it had "merged" with back in 1998.