DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

announced a turnaround plan and thousands of layoffs for its troubled American unit,

Chrysler

, Monday.

The plan, much of which has already been

announced, calls for a workforce reduction of 12,000 employees by mid-year and a total loss of 19,300 jobs by the end of this year. DaimlerChrysler also said it was cutting material costs by more than 5%. These and other changes should result in an operating loss in the range of $2 billion to $2.5 billion, the company said. The company also said it would launch the Jeep Liberty and new Dodge Ram this year.

For 2002, the plan calls for 4,200 more job cuts and further plant cost reductions as well as the launch of the new Dodge Viper, which is expected to result in a breakeven year. By the end of 2003, the automaker anticipates it will have achieved its workforce and material costs reductions, and the launching of the new Dodge Durango and medium-duty pickup truck, which should translate into an operating profit of more than $2 billion.

In total, the "turnaround plan" aims to generate additional benefits through annual savings and profit improvements of $3.1 billion in 2001, rising to $5.7 billion in 2002, and $8.1 billion in 2003.

Also,

Mitsubishi Motors

announced it will cut 14% of its 65,000 employees and close one car plant as part of a restructuring plan by its main shareholder, DaimlerChrysler. Additionally, it set a target of 15% in material cuts by 2003 in an aim to reduce production capacity by 20%.