By SCOTT SMITH, Kokomo Tribune staff writer

Chrysler officials Monday confirmed some workers won't be returning to work today at Kokomo's four Chrysler plants.

Company officials said last week that production would resume today in Kokomo after a monthlong furlough of more than 6,000 workers.

But the brief announcement also noted that "select workers at the company's powertrain, stamping and component plants will be contacted by their respective human resources group to confirm if they are to return to work on either Jan. 20 or Jan. 26."

Monday, company officials issued a statement identifying exactly which product lines will be back at work today.

• At the Kokomo Transmission Plant, about 700 of 2,000 workers will return to work today. The workers returning are assigned to the 42RLE transmission line, a rear-wheel drive transmission used in Dodge Ram, Dodge Nitro, Chrysler 300, Dodge Dakota, Dodge Durango and the Jeep Liberty and Wrangler models. Company officials said employees have been notified.

• Both Indiana Transmission Plant I and Indiana Transmission Plant II, which employ about 1,500 workers combined, were to resume full production on third shift Monday night.

• Company officials said they expected most of the Kokomo Casting Plant - which supports the other transmission plants - to be up and running Tuesday.

Last week the company indicated future production decisions will be based on the market.

Chrysler spokesman David Elshoff said the furlough reduced inventory sitting on dealer lots across the country.

Prior to the beginning of the company-wide furlough Dec. 19, analysts reported Chrysler dealers had, on average, a 140-day inventory of vehicles awaiting buyers.

Elshoff said the nationwide inventory average was 114 days as of Thursday. The consensus among industry analysts is that a 60-day inventory is ideal.

"The ongoing worldwide financial crisis continues to stifle the availability of consumer credit for American car buyers, prolonging the automotive industry downturn," the company statement read. "As a result of these external issues, Chrysler LLC will make additional adjustments to production schedules at its North American manufacturing operations."

The company last week also announced it would continue furloughs for an additional week at three plants: Belvidere, Ill.; Sterling Heights, Mich.; and Toluca, Mexico.

Workers at the Toledo North Assembly Plant and Supplier Park will return to work Monday, and workers at the Windsor (Ontario, Canada) Assembly and Conner Avenue Assembly plants will return to work Feb. 2. The return dates for those workers had been previously announced, according to the statement released by the company Thursday.

"Chrysler makes product-by-product decisions based on current and anticipated market demands," the statement continued. "Company officials will continue to monitor economic indicators for signs of returning consumer credit and consumer confidence in making further operational decisions."