NEW YORK (AP) -- Chrysler LLC said Thursday it will fire about 250 salaried workers by the end of the month as the automaker tries to meet its goal of cutting 1,000 white-collar jobs.
Most of the dismissals will come Friday, the company said in a statement.
Chrysler said in July that it would cut the positions by Sept. 30 as part of its efforts to return to profitability amid a severe downturn in U.S. sales. Chrysler had said it hoped most of the cuts would come from early retirements, attrition and voluntary separation programs, but the company said Thursday that it only achieved about three-quarters of the planned reduction.
"The balance of our separations will be by necessity involuntary," Chrysler's statement said.
The cuts come as Chrysler continues to struggle amid the nationwide slump in auto sales. Its sales fell 24 percent in the first eight months of this year as consumers shun its lineup dominated by trucks and sport utility vehicles.
Earlier this month, Chrysler said it would make another round of early retirement and buyout offers to factory workers in Michigan to reduce the number who are on indefinite layoff. The company announced plans in February 2007 to cut 11,000 hourly workers and 2,000 salaried by the end of 2009 as part of a major restructuring plan.
The private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP bought an 80.1 percent stake in the automaker last year from Daimler AG. On Wednesday, the companies said they are in talks for Cerberus to buy the remaining portion.
A bit of good news came Tuesday when Chrysler surprised the auto world by announcing it was working on three electric-powered vehicles and promised to put one of them on sale in the U.S. sometime in 2010. It showed off an all-electric Dodge sports car, as well as a four-door Jeep Wrangler and a Chrysler minivan that would travel 40 miles on battery power before a gasoline engine would kick in to extend the range.