Chrysler on Tuesday was reportedly planning to cut 250 jobs at a Detroit engine plant that makes V8 engines for its Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles.


Chrysler Group spokeswoman Michele Tinson declined to comment to Reuters on the Detroit News report, but noted the automaker was readying a cost-cutting announcement scheduled for February.


“We’re continuing to evaluate all of our options,” Tinson reportedly said, adding that it was not uncommon for Chrysler to adjust staffing at its plants through the course of the year in response to changing production levels.


Reuters noted that Chrysler reduced production of the 4.7 litre V8 engines at its Mack I plant in 2006 in response to high inventory levels and a consumer shift away from SUVs in the face of higher petrol prices, and added that the reported layoffs would cut almost a third of the jobs of the 780 jobs there.


The news agency added that any UAW union workers whose jobs were eliminated by a Chrysler cost-cutting move would be eligible to shift into a ‘jobs bank programme’ guaranteeing nearly full wages and benefits according to the terms of the union contract that expires this September.


The jobs bank programme will be one of the issues taken up in negotiations between the Detroit-based automakers and the UAW when contract talks begin in earnest this summer, executives were reported to have said.