Chrysler Group LLC CEO Sergio Marchionne said Monday that the company will lose production of 50,000 to 100,000 vehicles this year because of the March 11 earthquake in Japan. Chrysler uses components that are made in that nation.
Chrysler has cut overtime at plants in Canada and Mexico to conserve parts. Those plants make the Chrysler 300 sedan, Dodge Charger and Fiat 500, among other vehicles. Marchionne said the company still expects to earn between $200 million and $500 million this year.
In a phone call with media and analysts Monday, Marchionne discussed the impact of the earthquake and whether Chrysler sees an opportunity for more sales in the U.S. because of shortages of cars at Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.
Question: Does Chrysler see an opportunity to gain sales this year because of the earthquake?
Answer: "It's difficult to tell. We know Japanese production has been impacted by the earthquake. To the extent that there may be a supply issue, that may open up opportunity for us and for other U.S. manufacturers. Certainly, we are ready to ramp up production in the event that would happen, and we have made plans with our supply chain in the event that would happen. But it's too early to say."