• Oct 23rd 2008 at 11:21AM
  • 15
Chrysler LLC has just announced two measures to help the privately-owned automaker scale back production to meet lower demand in the marketplace. The first is to move up the closure of its Newark Assembly Plant, which builds the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen, from late 2009 to December 31, 2008. The second is to eliminate one of two shifts at the Toledo North Assembly plant that builds the Dodge Nitro and Jeep Liberty, also effective December 31. Chrysler says the Newark plant employs 1,000 workers, while 825 will be affected by the shift reduction in Toledo. According to The Detroit News, those 1,825 workers out of a job represent about 6% of Chrysler's hourly-workforce. These moves will also likely spell the end for the Durango and Aspen SUVs, as Newark is the only plant producing them and has been scaled back to one shift since July 2006.
[Source: Chrysler, The Detroit News, Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty]


In response to the continuing global economic slowdown and auto industry contraction, as well as the market's continuing movement toward smaller vehicles, Chrysler LLC is announcing the elimination of one shift of production at its Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly Plant and the pull-ahead of the closure of the Newark (Delaware) Assembly Plant. The schedule change will adjust inventory to better match consumer demand.

"The markets are facing unprecedented turmoil and we are in a time of historic change in the auto industry," said Frank Ewasyshyn, Executive Vice President – Manufacturing, Chrysler LLC. "These tough, but necessary steps are vital to our long-term viability. However, these headwinds will not prevent Chrysler from aggressively pursuing its mission to respond to consumers with products they demand, like the all-new Dodge Ram, which was recently named 'Full-Size Pickup Truck of Texas'."

The shift reduction at Toledo North will be effective December 31, 2008, and will affect approximately 825 jobs. The closure of the Newark plant will also be effective December 31, 2008, and will affect approximately 1,000 jobs.

Chrysler is committed to working with the UAW to address the represented manpower reductions in a socially responsible manner. As the Company has done in the past, the UAW and management leadership will hold employee meetings to review special programs that will be offered at the affected locations.

Currently, the Toledo North Assembly Plant has approximately 2,100 employees and operates on two shifts, producing Dodge Nitro and Jeep Liberty. Employees are represented by UAW Local 12.

The Newark Assembly Plant builds Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen and has been operating on one shift since July 2006. Its idling was first announced in February 2007. Newark Assembly Plant currently has approximately 1,000 employees who are represented by UAW Locals 1183 and 1212.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      These are just further death rattles of a company that will no longer exist in the near future. With product and engine development halted and a big for sale sign on the building Chrysler is a dead man walking now. Market share and long term survival of the company or it's dealers is no longer an issue for them. The only reason Toledo didn't get closed all together is the fact that it is historically a Jeep plant and might be seen as an asset in a sale of that brand.

      Cerberus will do what cutting it can to help slow the bleeding and make Chrysler look more attractive to potential buyers. If the GM does buy Chrysler they will probably get Cerberus to do a bunch of cutting before the announcement is made so Cerberus can take the heat instead of GM for some of the job losses.

      Cerberus could be in for major problems though if they don't get GM or someone to buy Chrysler quick. Customers are not going to buy from Chrysler with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over them. October's numbers are going to be horrible and it will only get worse from there. If someone doesn't buy Chrysler soon it will lose what little value it has.
      • 6 Years Ago
      WOW After this is set and done, Toyota will be #1, GM #2, Honda #3, Ford #4 Followed by Nissan or Hyundai and Chrysler will be a specialty maker (in units sold).

      Just my opinion.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Tick tock.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ouch... Merry Christmas... Our lease on my wife's Commander comes due next month. It'll be replaced by something non-Chrysler. We were already looking away because everything Chrysler builds is soooo damn thirsty. Getting out of the leasing game was icing on the cake. They've thrown every possible incentive at me, but there's really nothing that I want to see in my driveway.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Good thing you leased it, smart move.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I guess with the Jeeps still available Chrysler wouldn't need an SUV, and a lot of the dealers are now Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep so buyer could still look at a Grand Cherokee instead. And Dodge still has the Journey.

      Of course, that assumes that Chrysler Corp. has enough of a future for the decision to make any difference.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So John, you really think they'll stop making the Hybrid version after they just dumped a ton of cash into that???
        • 6 Years Ago
        I was thinking about that too, but you have to remember the hybrid system they used was co-developed with GM, Mercedes and BMW. GM footed most of the bill. So does it really matter if they go away when their probably about to merge with GM?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am wondering if they might shift D'go/Aspen production to Detroit where the Dakotas are built. After all, they are the same basic chassis. With the slower Dak sales, I'm sure they could make room in the plant to roll out just enough SUVs to meet the (small) demand.

      Personally, I think Chrysler should go back to having Jeep sell the only company SUVs in the small to medium range, and offer the D'go ONLY as a bigger option in limited quantities. Basing it directly off the Dakota like they USE to would lower the cost. I'm not sure why they got stupid and decided the D'go needed to have a completely different body and interior from the truck.

      ..of course, all of my comments do not address styling issues, just name badges and platforms. I think the old D'go was a far better SUV with a much better market target...when it was much smaller.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Getting ready for that merger, are they?
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