Chrysler will seek immediate talks with the United Auto Workers union on similar savings to those General Motors has agreed on retirees’ health-care costs, chief executive-designate Dieter Zetsche told an industry conference ahead of the Tokyo motor show.

Chrysler had a clear understanding with the UAW that any savings GM achieved would be applicable to Chrysler as well, Zetsche, who becomes DaimlerChrysler chief executive at the end of the year, said, according to Reuters.

“We definitely will engage in discussions right away” to this end, he reportedly said, although he added that Chrysler might not apply exactly the same model as GM to save costs in this manner.

Reuters noted that Chrysler has fewer retirees per active worker than does GM, but analysts estimate that Chrysler could still chop €3-4 billion ($US3.6-4.8 billion) from its healthcare liabilities by striking a deal along the same lines.