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Possible Sale of Chrysler

Old 04-02-2007, 09:59 PM
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Default Possible Sale of Chrysler

Here is an article from the Saint Louis Post Dispatch, regarding the Fenton, Missouri Chrysler Plants. They make pickup trucks and minivans. Back in December 2005, Chrysler said they were going to invest $1 Billion in the plant, and make minivans for other manufacturers, like Volkswagon. I live just a few miles from the plant, which is just outside the City of St. Louis. The article states that employees are being offered $100,000 to walk away from the plant! No wonder the cost of vehicles is so high!

Fenton workers grow anxious as Chrysler faces possible sale, uncertain future
By Christopher Boyce

While much of the auto industry is fixated on who is visiting Chrysler Group's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., workers at its South Assembly plant in Fenton are closely watching visitors in their own workplace.

Trailers from Overland-based Alberici Constructors, which is involved in retooling the South facility, are occupying part of the employees' parking lot.

Workers are looking for any change in the pace of Alberici's work as they wonder whether Chrysler will follow through on a long-term plan to retool and modernize local operations.

Much has changed since the U.S. automaker announced in December 2005 that it would invest up to $1 billion in Fenton, where about 5,200 people assemble pickups and minivans.

Chrysler is losing money and plans to shed about 1,935 jobs from the South plant and the adjacent North Assembly plant in coming years. And its German parent, DaimlerChrysler AG, is considering a sale of the beleaguered U.S. automaker.

So where does that leave the local employees?

"I think they're scared to death," said Glenn Woemmel, president of United Auto Workers union Local 110. Ongoing stories about potential buyers for Chrysler and the news last month that the job cuts would be deeper than first announced have left workers unsettled, he said.

Sensing the apprehension, Chrysler has been communicating frequently via plant announcements, e-mails and even video messages.

Among the messages are tips from Terry Lyles' book, "Good Stress," on "how to maintain peak performance in uncertain times."

Woemmel said the only good news so far has been Chrysler's repeated affirmation that it will stick to its plan to upgrade the facilities in Fenton.

But even that reassurance was shaken when the delivery of some equipment for the South plant's retooling project was rejected last month, workers told the Post-Dispatch.

Chrysler spokeswoman Michele Tinson confirmed that particular delivery was delayed, but she said the company was still on track to idle the plant in late May and begin upgrades.

Flexible assembly line

In February, Chrysler announced the loss of 1,300 jobs as part of a plan to eliminate one of the two shifts at the South plant next year. About 300 jobs would be lost this year, and 1,000 more cuts would come in the second quarter when the shift is ended.

Once the retooling is completed, the South plant's workers will begin making the redesigned 2008 line of minivans this fall.

The retooling is part of broader plan to convert the South plant into a flexible manufacturing facility a plant capable of assembling multiple vehicles on one line. The long-term plan also calls for modernizing the North plant.

Not all workers are flinching at the rumors and talk of a pending sale. Jeff Kennamann, who says he is accustomed to seesaw battles between the UAW and Chrysler, believes most of the recent news is posturing ahead of this summer's labor negotiations.

Even so, Kennamann who installs door glass on the Ram pickups regularly logs onto news websites to read about the latest Chrysler speculation.

Facing the uncertainties

Like other local workers, Ken na mann is eligible to receive a bonus of $100,000 if he voluntarily leaves his job and all its u
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Old 04-03-2007, 12:10 AM
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Default RE: Possible Sale of Chrysler

Welcome to the site, rayvrwc. The reason why the cars are so expensive is because Chrysler is being forced to pay premiums to Mercedes Group. It is also partly due to the unions, regulations, and stupid ideas implimented by Mercedes Group.

If Daimler wants to make Chrysler to look impressive to sell, then perhaps they shouldn't have restricted them from building the innovative technology they were working on. Again the problem with DCX isn't Chrysler, its Mercedes, STUPID (aka SMART), and the other extremely overpriced, non-innovative divisions for their price. Daimler could successfully screw up Toyota in less time then it takes GM to make the same mistakes with barely profitable companies.
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