Chrysler Financial, once the exclusive lending arm of the storied automaker, will liquidate and go out of business by Dec. 31, 2011, according to a letter from the U.S. Treasury Department.
The long-anticipated move will cost the battered Detroit area thousands of jobs as it struggles with an auto industry downturn and the bankruptcies and government-run restructurings of Chrysler Group and General Motors.
Last summer, Chrysler Financial employed 3,900 people, many at its headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Farmington Hills, although it has been reducing its work force. In September, Michigan had the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 15.3 percent.
Chrysler Financial is in the process of shifting much of its loan business to GMAC under orders from the government, with GMAC becoming the preferred lender for both GM and Chrysler.
The Treasury Department said in the letter to Chrysler Financial dated Thursday that the lender will liquidate its business and repay lenders and investors.