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Chrysler '08 loss $400 million through August

US automaker Chrysler LLC told dealers it had lost $400 million so far this year, the Wall Street Journal said.

Chief Executive Robert Nardelli told dealers that despite cutting costs, Chrysler was still losing money, according to two people at a session for dealers where the figures were released, the paper said.

The company added that sales fell 24% through August and it had $11 billion in cash, the paper said, citing the people at the session.

A Chrysler spokesman declined to comment on the remarks, saying the meeting was “confidential.” He said Chrysler was meeting or exceeding its financial targets but acknowledged the company was “not in the black on a net basis,” the paper said.

A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

Chrysler, run by private equity house Cerberus, lost $1.6 billion in 2007.

The company has unveiled prototypes of new electric cars as it hopes to shake an association with gas-guzzling trucks and dispel doubts about the strength of its vehicle development program.

But Nardelli also warned that without approval for a $25 billion loan package before Congress, the automaker could be forced to cut jobs and costs more deeply to free up funds for its electric car campaign. (Reuters)