Chrysler has announced that it will be shutting down its factories for an entire month, with production being halted from this Friday, December 19 until January 19 of next year. Chrysler's poor financial performance and a weak automotive market were the two major reasons cited for the extended closure, and the halt in production will affect 30 of the Detroit carmaker’s plants, affecting around 46,000 hourly workers.

Chrysler was originally planning on halting production for just nine days between December 24 and January 2, but the dates for the closure were then revised to begin on December 22. The current schedule for the production halt adds an additional three weeks to the amount of closure time, reflecting Chrysler's dire financial situation.

The news comes following reports from analysts that even with an automotive bailout loan from the White House, Chrysler is unlikely to survive for much longer. For the year to date, Chrysler's sales have fallen by almost 30%, and sales continue to worsen as the year progresses, with sales down almost 50% throughout November, reports Automotive News.

Chrysler claims that rather than issues with their products, it is largely the lack of consumer credit that is affecting sales. CEO Bob Nardelli has stated that the situation has become so severe that Chrysler could run out of money in just a few months without government intervention. A previous bill proposed by Congress to bailout America's auto manufacturers was shot down earlier this month by the Senate, leaving carmakers reliant on White House intervention, a move that George W. Bush says he should have a decision on soon.