May sales saw Chrysler's overall total drop 25% compared to 2007 figures, and CEO Bob Nardelli is warning that the slide will continue. In an email sent out to the company's employees Nardelli urged workers to keep their focus and help Chrysler get its product lineup back on track.
June sales are already down 20%, following the May trend, according to the email. Nardelli also wrote that he did not foresee a second-half turnaround in the industry that others are predicting. The email did not announce any new job cuts or production rollbacks, reports The Detroit News but if sales continue to spiral downwards, Chrysler may have to follow its Detroit rivals' lead and send more workers to the unemployment line.
Already GM and Ford have announced production draw-downs and lay offs as they too struggle to realign their SUV and pickup-heavy model lines with the new taste for smaller, more efficient transport. An announcement yesterday revealed that Ford would be extending its usual two-week summer holiday to as much as nine weeks at one plant, and four weeks at two others, to help it cope with high inventory levels of large SUVs and trucks. GM announced a drastic restructuring plan not long after May's sales figures were released, resulting in the outright closure of several plants.