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October 22, 2008
Chrysler expected to announce layoffs of up to 850 Jeep workers
Furloughs anticipated by year's end



Chrysler LLC is expected to announce Thursday morning that it will eliminate between 800 and 850 employees at its Toledo Jeep Assembly complex because of slow sales of its products.

The involuntary layoffs are expected to occur by year’s end, but may be offset by attrition as employees take buyout offers that are being offered to Chrysler employees at several plants.

The cut will effectively eliminate the second shift at the Toledo North plant, where the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro are made.

Additional production cuts — but not necessarily job losses — are expected to be made at the Toledo South plant where the Wrangler is made.

A spokesman for Chrysler refused to comment on the layoffs.

LINK: toledoblade.com -- Chrysler expected to announce layoffs of up to 850 Jeep workers
 

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Update

Article published Thursday, October 23, 2008
BREAKING NEWS


At this time last year, Chrysler employed nearly 4,000 people in its two plants in North Toledo. By the end of the year, that number could be down to 1,400.
Chrysler eliminated the third shift at the complex in February when sales of Toledo-made sport utility vehicles first showed signs of a prolonged slowdown. More than 600 workers at the plant accepted buyouts, avoiding all but about 100 layoffs. Since then the Toledo North plant has been shut down more than 14 weeks because of slow sales.

Through the end of September, sales of the Liberty are off 21 percent from last year, while sales of the Nitro are off 46 percent. Wrangler sales have dropped 30 percent.

Link: toledoblade.com -- Chrysler announces Toledo's Jeep North to lose one shift of production


The automaker will offer buyout packages to employees to voluntarily sever their ties with the firm in exchange for between $70,000 and $100,000 in cash. Similar offers were made this week to Chrysler workers at several plants, including the Toledo Machining facility in Perrysburg Township.

Laid-off employees would be entitled to unemployment and “subpay,” which provides a supplemental benefit for a limited time that allows a laid-off employee to receive about 95 percent of his or her normal base take-home pay.

The loss to metro Toledo’s economy could exacerbate the local economic picture. The city budget alone easily could take a $1 million hit or more in lost income taxes, not including lost supplier jobs.
 

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Published on Thursday Oct 23, 2008

Just two years ago, about 750 jobs were added at the plant as production began on the Nitro. But the sport utility vehicle never took off, and Chrysler announced in November it was eliminating the third shift.

Soaring gas prices and slowing auto sales only made it worse.

Nitro sales were down 46 percent this year and Liberty sales were off 21 percent through September, according to Autodata Corp.

At the same time, the Toledo North Assembly Plant has been making a combined 500 more vehicles a day than the company is selling, Henneman said. Hundreds of those extra cars now sit in lots around the plant and across the street on top of what was once a landfill.

"I don't think the blame is on management or how they run their business," he said. "It's not a Jeep issue. It's not a Chrysler issue. It's the whole industry."


Article Link: Ohio.com - AP
 
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