March 10, 2008 - 12:01 am ET
DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC is closing its Pacifica Advance Product Design Center, the studio near San Diego where several key vehicles -- such as the 300 sedan, Dodge Challenger and Pacifica crossover -- took shape in recent years.
All of Chrysler's future design work will take place at Chrysler's headquarters in Auburn Hills, north of Detroit.
"Increasingly, we are leveraging resources worldwide, forming new joint ventures and alliances and consolidating operations in order to better achieve global balance and manage fixed costs. 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.
It was not immediately clear how many employees would be affected by the closure of the Carlsbad, Calif., studio.
In the late 1980s, Chrysler was one of the first automakers to open a California design studio. A number of automakers have studios in California because of the state's influence on culture and automotive styling trends.
Chrysler spokesman David Barnas said the move was consistent with the automaker's strategy of controlling costs and consolidating operations where it can.