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Massive Chrysler Holiday Shutdown: 31 Days, 30 Plants

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The end of the year is fast approaching, as is the end of the road for a solvent Chrysler if federal assistance is not forthcoming. Today Chrysler announced that it will extend its holiday break to now span one month, ceasing operation in 30 plants from December 19 through January 19. We can only imagine Chrysler PR man Rick Denau's struggle to keep a happy face as he tried to enthuse about the next-gen Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, and Chrysler electric vehicles in a press conference that Jalopnik was most definitely not invited to.

Chrysler's holiday shutdown had already been extended two days, and was to go from December 22 to January 2. But with a 47.1 percent sales drop in November, the largest of any carmaker, Chrysler is being forced to take increasingly drastic measures as it waits desperately for federal assistance. The company's 46,000 hourly workers in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada will presumably be affected by the shutdown.

Chrysler chairman Bob Nardelli told Congress in recent appeals for assistance that his company will close out 2008 with about $2.5 billion in cash on hand. And with first-quarter expenditures of about $9.4 billion in '09, you can quickly see the magnitude of its cash-flow problem. Chrysler dealers cite many willing buyers but an inability to complete financing on the vehicles due to consumers' lack of access to credit.--Colin Mathews

[source: Automotive News]

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