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Chrysler to close Pacifica Advanced Design Studios

Sun, 09 Mar 2008

The 20 designers at Chrysler's Pacifica Advanced Design Studios in Carlsbad, California will soon be finding themselves out of a job. The struggling North American automaker announced the closure of the facility on Friday, stating that the company is ‘leveraging resources worldwide, forming new joint ventures and alliances and consolidating operations in order to better achieve global balance.'

Responsible for many of the more successful designs hailing from Chrysler in recent times, including the Chrysler 300 sedan and the new Dodge Challenger musclecar, the Pacifica Advanced Product Design Center also yielded the Nassau concept car and the Pacifica crossover – bearing the same name as the west coast studios in which it was created. The work done at the Pacifica Advanced Design Center will be consolidated into the Advance Design function in Auburn Hills and continue to be led by Senior Vice President of Design, Trevor Creed.

“These moves are designed to help Chrysler become a more globally focused manufacturer, with design, engineering, sourcing and a local presence to serve local customers.” Chrysler said in a statement. The consolidation actions are aimed to enable the manufacturer to meet its long-term globalization goals and achieve a ‘right-sized operational footprint to match market realities’.

This is the latest in a series of layoffs that have occurred since Cerberus Capital Management took control at the ailing automaker following a divorce from Daimler AG in May last year. Chrysler designers didn’t start the New Year off too well. In January, 119 UAW-represented designers, modelers and engineers were handed pink slips, some being only given one hour’s notice to gather their belongings before being escorted off the premises at Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and at the Plymouth Road office complex in Detroit.

By Eric Gallina