Chrysler Financial is axing 80 jobs or 2% of its 4,000-strong workforce.

The layoffs will include the company's sales teams, a person familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Chrysler Financial used to be controlled by the automaker but was turned into a separate company when Cerberus Capital Management bought Chrysler in 2007.

The finance unit told the WSJ the job cuts came on top of a number of other spending reductions on "nonessential expenses" such as travel, conferences, events, advertising and other "noncore" business activities.

"As part of our ongoing effort to reduce costs and remain competitive in the current business environment, Chrysler Financial has taken actions today to realign our workforce," the company said in a statement.

"These actions include reassigning personnel to support our critical business areas and reducing our workforce levels to align with our current operating portfolio."

Sources told the WSJ the changes were taking place just as the company is expected to exhaust the US$1.5bn in federal aid it received through the US treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Programme (TARP) in mid-January. The federal aid helped boost retail sales financed by the company, which had been unable to lend money to many potential buyers. The company requested additional assistance earlier this month, but has declined to specify the amount.