Chrysler plans to shut down all North American plants this Friday, for at least a month.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/200 ... xclude=aolNEW YORK (AP) - Chrysler said Wednesday it is closing all 30 of its manufacturing plants for a month starting Friday .
The company said it needs to match production to slowing demand and conserve cash.
Tighter credit markets are keeping would-be buyers away from their showrooms, Chrysler says. Dealers are unable to close sales for buyers due to a lack of financing, and estimate that 20% to 25% of their volume has been lost due to the credit situation.
Chrysler says it is nearing the minimum level of cash it needs to run the company and will have trouble paying bills after the first of the year.
Chrysler made the announcement in a letter sent Wednesday to its employees, suppliers and the United Auto Workers union that was also posted on its website.
Separately, General Motors, anxiously conserving cash so it can keep operating into 2009, said Wednesday it would halt construction of a plant tied to one of its most important projects while the automaker awaits a Washington bailout.
GM said it is putting the brakes on the construction of a factory in Flint, Mich., set to make 1.4-liter engines for the Chevrolet Cruze and the Chevy Volt plug-in electric car.
It's just one more effort by GM to hold on to every penny possible as it speeds closer to the day when the 100-year-old industrial giant won't be able to pay its bills.
The company has been scaling back just about everywhere - shutting down vehicle production, ending sports sponsorships, turning off escalators and even cutting back on office supplies - to stay afloat.
GM is seeking up to $18 billion in government loans as it tries to survive the worst U.S. auto sales environment in 26 years. It says it needs $4 billion before this year runs out.
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