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During last year's holiday season Chrysler's rank and file were faced with extended holiday shutdowns. The reason was simple: Millions of Americans decided to stop buying vehicles due to the economic downturn. While the market is still down, auto sales have stabilized and the Pentastar isn't dealing with an outrageously bloated inventory, but Chrysler vehicles aren't flying off dealer lots. Chrysler was the only major automaker to see year over year sales down by double digits in November and the automaker's short-turn sales outlook is anything but rosy.

The Wall Street Journal reports that for the second straight year many Chrysler workers will be on extended shutdown during the holidays, with five plants taking three week leaves beginning December 21. Vehicles affected by production shutdowns include the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans, the Dodge Viper, Charger and Challenger, the Chrysler 300 and the Jeep Wrangler. Also under consideration for an extended layoff is the Dodge Ram. The Pentastar originally planned to shutter the plants for the typical ten-day holiday shutdown. To help combat continued slow sales Chrysler has increased its advertising budget.

[Source: Wall Streer Journal - sub. req'd]

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