DaimlerChrysler Canada has announced it will close its trim plant in Ajax, Ontario, in December, 2003, as part of the company#;s cost saving strategy, writes Monica Dobie.

The closure will eliminate 650 jobs, adding to the thousands of jobs wiped out over the past 18 months at Chrysler light vehicle and heavy truck manufacturing plants.

The doomed facility makes seat-back covers for the Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, as well as Chrysler Intrepid, 300M and Concorde sedans.

Union members at the plant recently approved a deal whereby German based Benteler AG will hire some of the DaimlerChrysler Canada employees for its planned axle plants in Brampton and Windsor, both in Ontario.