DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler Group LLC has ended a cost-saving requirement that all workers take the same two weeks off during the summer, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.
For the past two years, cash-starved Chrysler shut down all of its operations during the same two weeks in July that it closed U.S. and Canadian factories as it switched from one model year to the next.
Now, with sales rising and Chrysler reporting a $143 million first-quarter operating profit, the company is allowing its 10,000 U.S. salaried employees to work from July 12 through 23 and take time off during other months, spokeswoman Shawn Morgan said. Factories will be shut down during those weeks, she said.
The staggered vacations will allow Chrysler to continue work on updating its vehicles, she said.
"The company's got an extreme focus on the future product coming out. The company is going to be quite busy," she said.
Chrysler, which was starved for new vehicles under its former owners, Cerberus Capital Management LP, plans to roll out 16 new or updated vehicles by the end of this year, new CEO Sergio Marchionne has said.
Marchionne, who also heads Italy's Fiat SpA, was given control of Chrysler by the U.S. government when Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy on June 10, 2009. The company would have run out of cash and been sold off in pieces without roughly $15 billion in aid from the U.S. and Canadian governments.