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Adieu, Pacifica: Chrysler Closing Design Studio

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As part of the new effort to trim costs that Chrysler announced last Friday, it plans to close its Pacifica Advanced Product Design Center in California, which has been the source of several of the company's concept vehicles in recent years.

"Increasingly, we are leveraging resources worldwide, forming new joint ventures and alliances and consolidating operations in order to better achieve global balance and manage fixed costs," Chrysler said in a statement.

"As such, we are closing the Pacifica Advance Product Design Center, consolidating the Advance Design function in Auburn Hills. Advance Design remains an integral part of our future design efforts, led by Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President -- Design.

"These changes set the stage for Chrysler's future global growth efforts, which also include our intent to establish global expertise in design, engineering and sourcing through centers of excellence. These actions will help the Company meet its long-term globalization goals," the company said.

Despite the impending shutdown of the Pacifica studio, Chrysler officials insist they have adequate resources to finance the company's future product plan, despite the pressures created by the economic slowdown and the heavy financial losses in 2006 and 2007. Since the private equity firm of Cerberus Capital Management now owns Chrysler, it no longer has to disclose financial data. However, the automaker is expected to post more losses this year because of weak sales and the ongoing cost of restructuring the company.--Joe Szczesny
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