Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler group CEO, held intense internal meetings last week to form a plan to return the company to profitability. The plan will be released in February, according to one source.
Zetsche also met with UAW President Steve Yokich and Buzz Hargrove, president of the Canadian Auto Workers.
The week ended with news of declining sales in November, down 5 percent from the same month a year ago. With inventories already bloated, Chrysler announced a series of plant closings for December.
A roundup of the week's developments:
The Chrysler group will idle plants throughout December in response to a softer market and excess inventory. The shutdown schedule:
Week of Dec. 4: Dodge Durango production in Newark, Del., and Dodge Ram Quad Cab production in St. Louis
Week of Dec. 11: Dodge full-sized van and wagon production at the Pillette Road Truck Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario
Week of Dec. 18: Dodge Neon production in Belvidere, Ill.; Chrysler Concorde, 300M, LHS, Dodge Intrepid production in Brampton, Ontario; Jeep Grand Cherokee production at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit; Dodge Ram Quad Cab production in St. Louis; and Jeep Cherokee and Jeep Wrangler production in Toledo, Ohio
Kirk Kerkorian, DaimlerChrysler's No. 3 shareholder, filed a suit Monday, Nov. 27, seeking $8 billion in damages and the sale of the Chrysler group. He alleges that Chairman Juergen Schrempp and other key executives committed fraud by concealing their intentions for the merger in 1998.
The company said the allegations 'appear to be completely without merit.'
By Thursday, Nov. 30, at least six firms had followed Kerkorian's lead, seeking class-action status for separate lawsuits filed on behalf of shareholders.