This week, Chrysler LLC announced that it has ordered the temporary shut down of all of its North American production facilities for one month. The temporary shutdown will begin at the end of the production schedule on Friday, December 19, and will keep Chrysler’s 46,000 hourly workers out of work until at least January 19, 2009. Publicly struggling to tread water in a turbulent economy, Chrysler’s decision follows the crushing 41.7% drop in sales posted for the month of November – the largest percentage loss posted by any automaker. Barring the unlikely event of any emergency government intervention, Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli said that should Chrysler’s snowballing financial loss continue at its current rate, the company will be bankrupt by the first quarter of 2009.
Forging ahead under the wise assumption that Washington will not be rushing to their aid, Chrysler hopes the decision to extend routine holiday plant closure by 2 weeks, will buy them enough time to formulate some sort of short-term plan for survival. Although Chrysler has been tight-lipped regarding the details of any future plans, rumors have surfaced that GM and Chrysler are once again discussing the possibility of a corporate merger. Mouthpieces from both automakers adamantly deny the claims.
Image Cred: AP Photo by P. Holm, NR