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Chrysler Financial looks to offshore IT department

by Bill Cawthon on

The Detroit News reports Chrysler Financial is considering a plan to outsource 85 percent of its U.S. information technology staff with most of the work going offshore. The company believes it could save about $18.9 million in the first year and a similar amount in succeeding years under a program developed with Alsbridge Inc., a Dallas, Texas-based consulting firm.

Currently, Chrysler Financial employs 370 people in its Farmington Hills, Michigan, IT department. Of those, 150 of those are Chrysler Financial employees and the rest are contract workers. In the “ITM Plan” which is part of “Project Lighthouse,” only about 50 of the salaried employees and a few contract workers would be retained to manage vendors, programs, projects, business relationships, customer service and metrics collection. The rest of the work, including software design, code, debugging, testing, validation, maintenance and operational support, would go to vendors in English-speaking countries like India.

The plan, developed in late September, calls for a deal to be struck by mid-November but Chrysler Financial spokesman Bill Porter said no formal decisions have been made on a “company-wide basis.” Porter also cautioned that a variety of factors could affect any plans. These include further significant deterioration in the economy or a merger with General Motors that gives Cerberus total ownership of GMAC. Cerberus would probably merge the two finance companies.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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