DETROIT -- Chrysler Group LLC is planning to hire 1,000 engineers and other skilled workers over the next four months to enhance its small and mid-sized car development efforts, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
The report follows news today that General Motors Co. also plans to hire about 1,000 engineers to work on vehicle electrification efforts. GM CEO Dan Akerson announced the hiring plans at a Chevrolet Volt event in Detroit this morning.
The spike in hiring follows several rounds of deep job cuts over the last several years at Chrysler, which went through a government-led bankruptcy and restructuring last year.
Chrysler’s U.S. sales are up 17 percent this year to 910,357, and the company is in the midst of a major new product push, with 16 new or restyled models planned. Chrysler is also developing several models based on Fiat vehicles that will be introduced over the next several years.
Hiring plans revealed
Earlier this month, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, while discussing the automaker’s third-quarter financial results, said the company expected to hire additional workers in the coming months to support product development, manufacturing and sales.
The automaker is looking for experienced and entry-level candidates.
About 60 percent of the new hires will be employed directly by Chrysler, while 40 percent will work through various contract agencies, Lisa Wicker, Chrysler's recruiting chief, told the Journal. Many of the new employees will be assigned to the company's headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., Wicker said.
The engineers will be hired to develop new small and fuel-efficient cars, engines and transmissions, Wicker said.
After the latest round of hiring, Chrysler will have added or announced an additional 6,000 jobs since its emergence from bankruptcy, the newspaper said. Chrysler’s North America employment was 51,663 at the end of June, compared with 47,788 at the end of June 2009. Both payroll levels are well below the 82,284 employees Chrysler reported at the end of 2006, according to the paper.