Tough competition from its Japanese rivals, namely Toyota, has seen Chrysler assign teams to find ways to increase efficiency and cut costs by $1,000 per vehicle. The plan, code-named “Project Refocus,” was rushed to address Chrysler’s expected $1.5 billion loss for its third quarter results that come out next week. The Chrysler Group, which has been dogging the performance of its parent DaimlerChrysler AG, will enlist the help of several top Mercedes-Benz managers including its chief operating officer, Rainer Schmueckle.

Part of Chrysler’s problem is the falling demand for large vehicles, which account for roughly two-thirds of its sales. High gas prices in the US are the main source of Chrysler’s problems, but tough competition from Toyota has also worsened the situation. Parent company DaimlerChrysler AG isn’t too worried about compounding the American’s losses into its results, however, investors are losing patience and the idea of a demerger has flared up again. Chrysler has lost a total of $4 billion over the past five years, but it seems that management is against spinning off Chrysler, to the bane of investors.