It's no secret that Chrysler is in the fight of its life, and the Auburn Hills automaker is pulling out all the stops to keep the lights on -- even if it means closing the doors. Chrysler is shuttering all of its plants for one month, beginning December 19. In a short release to the media, Chrysler blamed the continued credit crunch as the main reason for the shutdown, and is trying to better-align its vehicle stock with customer demand. Dealers have notified the Pentastar that they've got plenty of perspective buyers, but an astonishing 20-25% of customers are unable to obtain financing. Ouch. On the bright side, Chrysler plant workers will have a really, really long Christmas break at 95% pay, which can't be too horrible.
Chrysler's move is far from unprecedented, though, as GM announced on Monday that it would be cutting production by 250,000 units in Q1 2009. GM has also delayed production of its Flint engine plant. Toyota has also delayed plans to open its unfinished Mississippi plant, and Mitsubishi is closing its Illinois plant for seven weeks. This is one depressed automotive market, and Chrysler may be getting hit worst of all. Hit the jump to see Chrysler's mini-release for yourself.

PRESS RELEASE

Due to the continued lack of consumer credit for the American car buyer and the resulting dramatic impact it has had on overall industry sales in the United States, Chrysler LLC announced that it will make significant adjustments to the production schedules of its manufacturing operations. In doing so, the Company will keep production and dealer inventory aligned with U.S. market demand. In response, the Company confirmed that all Chrysler manufacturing operations will be idled at the end of the shift Friday, Dec. 19, and impacted employees will not return to work any sooner than Monday, Jan. 19, 2009.

Chrysler dealers confirmed to the Company at a recent meeting at its headquarters, that they have many willing buyers for Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge vehicles but are unable to close the deals, due to lack of financing. The dealers have stated that they have lost an estimated 20 to 25 percent of their volume because of this credit situation.

The Company will continue to monitor the production schedules of its manufacturing operations moving forward.

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