Chrysler goes dark
Automaker to shut all North American plants Friday for one month
In the midst of the controversy over whether America’s Big 3 automakers should receive federal loan assistance, Chrysler announced Wednesday that it would close all North American plants for one month beginning Friday. Plants are not scheduled to reopen until Jan. 19, putting 46,000 workers out just as Christmas arrives.
The move is seen as a way to stem the losses at the beleaguered automaker. While GM announced it would reduce production by 30% and Ford would add another week to its annual holiday furlough, the move by Chrysler is the most severe cut to date among U.S.-based automakers.
Chrysler sales are down 47% as the global economic crisis deepens. Chrysler officials blame some of the sales shortfall on the lack of available credit in the market.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.