Chrysler Looks for Vehicle Production Savings

24 October 2006

DETROIT: Chrysler Group is hoping to cut $1,000 (€796; £533) from the production costs of each vehicle it makes by the end of next year, in another bid to jump-start a recovery.

The struggling US arm of German-headquartered DaimlerChrysler has tapped the expertise of executives from its luxury Mercedes-Benz marque to work on a restructure plan that will "put Chrysler back on track".

Says parent company ceo Dieter Zetsche: "We first have an opportunity with eight new vehicle launches this year for the Chrysler Group, but we are also looking at the cost side."

The company has denied reports of US plant closures but has acknowledged there could be some temporary factory shutdowns as it tries to implement production savings.

In common with its main US rivals, General Motors and the Ford Motor Company, Chrysler is facing gloomy prospects, exacerbated by this year's steep rise in fuel prices and the disastrous effect on sales of gas-guzzling but hitherto profit-generating SUVs and trucks.

Ford and GM are axing tens of thousands of jobs and closing almost two dozen plants between them, while several US makers of auto parts are operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff