More information on voluntary separation and early retirement programmes for Chrysler employees will be communicated in the next few days, Chrysler president and CEO Tom La Sorda told workers by email on Thursday.
But he did not comment on rumours about the Chrysler Group’s future.
“I know that you’ve been reading and discussing [media reports], but I want you to keep in mind that Dieter Zetsche and the board of management strongly endorsed the Chrysler Group’s new recovery and transformation plan,” La Sorda wrote.
“[Zetsche] added that the company will look into ‘further strategic options with partners beyond that business cooperation’ that I outlined in the recovery and transformation plan, which set off the frenzy of rumours.
“We simply cannot respond to these reports. The board of management has a duty to consider all options; but while this process is ongoing, the board – including myself – can’t comment on developments because of strict legal requirements.”
La Sorda said it “may take weeks or months before official comments can be made on some issues” and encouraged Chrysler employees “to produce great cars and trucks, to take care of our customers and to restore profitability”.
“Whatever fork in the road we may take, we first have to make sure we’re on the road – and the recovery and transformation plan is that road. The plan is designed to make us profitable by 2008 and put us on solid footing to stay there,” he said.
La Sorda added that the Chrysler Group has been around for more than 80 years and has been through difficult times before.
“We went through a restructuring in 2001, but our situation today is much different. For one thing, we’re leaner. Another important difference is that we have a full product pipeline with at least 20 new and 13 refreshed vehicles on their way from 2007 to 2009,” he told employees.
“The best way to secure a successful future for the Chrysler Group is to focus on what we can control – that is the recovery and transformation plan.”