Again, I would ask the Bush Administration to tell me how strong the economy is. There are few making huge sums of money. On the hand, folks can’t afford new cars. That’s a problem isn’t it?

From NYT:

DaimlerChrysler said today that it was leaving all options open for the future of its struggling Chrysler Group, which announced a plan to close all or part of four plants and eliminate 13,000 jobs in North America.

The announcements came as DaimlerChrysler said it earned nearly $7.3 billion last year, despite a loss of nearly $1.5 billion for Chrysler. The Chrysler loss compared with a profit of just more than $2 billion in 2005.

“It was a strong year at three of our divisions, but it’s been a difficult and disappointing one here at the Chrysler Group,” Dieter Zetsche, the chief executive of the German parent, said this morning.

The restructuring plan marked a dramatic swing for a company that had seemed to avoid the same declines as its Detroit rivals.

Chrysler said it would close its Newark, Del., assembly plant in 2009, as well as a parts distribution center in Cleveland.

It also will eliminate one shift of workers at truck plants in Warren, Mich., and St. Louis. (more…)