DETROIT -- Chrysler plans to close eight U.S. plants by December 2010, including five assembly operations, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.
But Chrysler expects its pending alliance with Fiat S.p.A. to allow it to retain substantially all our employees, Chrysler spokeswoman Dianna Gutierrez said today. And any employee displaced by the bankruptcy will be given an opportunity at other Chrysler facilities.
Chrysler expects the envisioned alliance with Fiat, which is subject to modification by the bankruptcy court, to add about 5,000 employees, she said. She did not specify when.
Of the facilities on the closing list, three are component plants: Detroit Axle, Twinsburg Stamping in Ohio and Kenosha Engine in Wisconsin.
Two of the assembly plants -- St. Louis South and Newark, Del. -- already are idled.
But closing three other assembly plants -- Sterling Heights, Mich., Conner Avenue in Detroit and St. Louis North -- would eliminate Chrysler manufacturing in Missouri and reduce it substantially in southeastern Michigan.
Chrysler said current employees would be offered employment in the new company.
In a statement, Chrysler added: It is premature to speculate on the ultimate disposition of those facilities that are to remain with Chrysler, [for example], sale as an operating asset to another company, sale to a new business, redevelopment, closure or other possible outcomes.
Chrysler did not tell workers at the affected plants about the plans outlined in Manzos document, said a UAW official who declined to be identified.
We dont consider this is over, the UAW official. Well be fighting to keep our plant open.