updated 6/8/2007 9:00:56 PM ET 2007-06-09T01:00:56

Chrysler Group is trying to figure out how to handle a higher-than-expected acceptance rate on buyout and early retirement offers, which were made earlier this year to reduce the automaker's hourly work force.

About 6,400 U.S. workers have signed up for the offers, part of the company's three-year restructuring plan announced Feb. 14. The plan was designed to reduce the number of U.S. production workers by 4,700 this year.

The company wants to cut 11,000 hourly workers in the U.S. and Canada and an additional 2,000 salaried jobs by 2009 in an effort to trim costs.

Chrysler spokeswoman Michele Tinson said Friday the company is working with the employees and the United Auto Workers to accommodate as many requests as possible, but it may not be able to honor all the requests because it has to keep factories running.

The Detroit Free Press on Friday quoted analysts as saying that the take rate was boosted by uncertainty over last month's sale of 80.1 percent of Chrysler Group by DaimlerChrysler AG to Cerberus Capital Management LP.

The job cuts target 11 plants in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. Most of the plants make components for or assemble slower-selling mid-sized sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and other large vehicles. Chrysler plans to cut production on these vehicles through 2009.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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