Chrysler to cut up to 10,000 jobs by end-2008

Mumbai: Chrysler LLC is planning to cut up to 10,000 hourly jobs over the next 14 months as it does away with four slow-selling vehicles and trims overall production in North America.

The job cuts, that would affect over a fifth of Chrysler's unionised workforce, followed a scrapped through ratification of a new contract with workers.

Chrysler said it would phase out shifts at five North American assembly plants and stop making the Dodge Magnum wagon, the convertible version of the PT Cruiser, the Pacifica crossover utility and the Crossfire sports car.

The layoffs are in addition to 13,000 jobs that Chrysler had already planned to cut as part of a restructuring plan. The job cuts when undertaken would be the deepest for any US automaker.

On a combined basis, Chrysler would be cutting almost half of its unionised workforce as part of a stepped-up restructuring plan since Chrysler's new private equity owner, Cerberus Capital Management, took control in August.

Chrysler and Ford Motor Co have reported double-digit drops in October sales, lagging rivals in a slumping US market widely expected to remain under pressure into next year.