Chrysler on Thursday said it would eliminate one shift of production at its Toledo North Assembly Plant and pull ahead the previously announcued closure of its Newark, Delaware, assembly plant.

“The schedule change will adjust inventory to better match consumer demand,” the automaker said.

The move was a response to the continuing global economic slowdown and auto industry contraction, as well as the market’s continuing movement toward smaller vehicles.

“The markets are facing unprecedented turmoil and we are in a time of historic change in the auto industry,” said manufacturing chief Frank Ewasyshyn.

“These tough, but necessary steps are vital to our long-term viability.”

The shift reduction at Toledo North will take effect on  31 December with the loss of 825 jobs. The Newark plant closure the same day will see 1,000 jobs go.

Chrysler said it would work with unions on severance programmes for affected workers.

Toledo North currently employs 2,100 on two shifts producing the Dodge Nitro and Jeep Liberty/Cherokee SUVs.

Newark builds the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen and has been operating on one shift since July 2006.