Following General Motors’ plea to dealers and employees to lobby their local political representatives in Washington for additional aid to the auto industry, Chrysler last night extended its plea to the public.

“Chrysler is asking citizens to contact their US senators and representatives, urging them to support federal assistance for the domestic auto industry.  We make the case in this short video. Feel free to post it on your sites,” said an entry on the company’s blog for business journalists, the

The video stresses the number of employees across the US, wages and taxes paid, health care and retiree benefits and community involvement. It said if the US auto industry went under, the number of people put out of work be the equivalent of the populations of a number of individual states.

It notes that 90% of new vehicles in the US are sold with some form of finance and urges people to lobby Washington for a freeing up of the current credit squeeze.