Worries over Chrysler's existence beyond the next handful of years have gone from whispers to open conversation in recent months, and the decision to shutter its entire operation for two weeks at mid-year will no doubt spur even more speculation. Chrysler is couching the shut-down as a way to increase productivity and efficiency, but it is the first time Chrysler has used the tactic on a global scale, and that speaks of desperation.

The news of the global halt follows last week's announcement of the closure of the company's Pacifica design studio. Cost-cutting measures and productivity enhancements are the motivation for the recent actions, but cutting back excess capacity can only go so far.

Workers across the globe will be forced to take vacation time - provided they have enough - over the two weeks beginning July 7th. Those without enough vacation time will simply have to go without pay. That's surely an effective cost-cutting measure, but what does it do to the morale of the workforce - especially at the rank-and-file level?

The shutdown is business as usual for some parts of Chrysler, however. Canadian Auto Workers President Buzz Hargrove, speaking with Automotive News said that workers at two Canadian plants wouldn't be affected because a summer shutdown is standard practice for those locations.

Time will tell if Cerberus and Chrysler can weather the current economic storm, but having entered in poor financial shape, and taking drastic measures to stay afloat, the chances of capsizing are looming large.