DETROIT – Chrysler LLC is likely to make another round of buyout or early retirement offers to salaried employees and cut contract workers in an effort to reduce its white-collar work force by about 1,500 more people, a person briefed on the plan said Monday.
The person, who requested anonymity because the plan has not been made public, said the reduction will be made because the company needed to modify its recovery plan announced in February.
Chrysler has seen its U.S. sales drop 3 percent through the first nine months of the year, and it has idled five U.S. plants for anywhere from one to two weeks because of lower demand for its products.
Amid losses and slumping sales, Germany's Daimler AG sold 80.1 percent of Chrysler to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP in a $7.4 billion transaction in August.
Most of the white-collar reductions will occur at Chrysler's Auburn Hills headquarters, said the person, who did not know when the company expects to complete the cuts.
Chrysler announced in February that it would eliminate 13,000 positions, including 11,000 production jobs and 2,000 white-collar posts in an effort to return to profitability in 2008.
The new round of cuts will likely involve buyouts or early retirement packages similar to those made in February, the person said.
Word of the cuts comes as the company is involved in tense contract talks with the United Auto Workers union. The UAW has set a strike deadline of 11 a.m. Wednesday if no agreement is reached.
The white-collar cuts were reported late Monday by the Detroit Free Press.
A message seeking comment was left for Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines.