Chrysler LLC is planning to idle two additional plants,
including one in Canada, for two weeks in January in the latest
example of an auto maker using production cuts instead of incentives
to control inventory amid slumping demand.
The auto maker will temporarily shut its Jefferson North plant in
Detroit and its Windsor, Ont., plant starting Jan. 14, according to
a person familiar with the plans who requested anonymity because
they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
Jefferson North, home to the Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee,
and the Windsor factory, which makes the Dodge and Chrysler
minivans, are currently scheduled to shut for two weeks, according
to the source.
Chrysler previously made plans to temporarily halt production at
pickup truck plants in Warren, Mich., and Fenton, Mo., right before
Christmas and through January. A third truck plant in Mexico is
scheduled to shut down for the first two weeks of January.
Industry sales of SUVs and pickup trucks are generally slumping,
but Chrysler recently introduced refreshed versions of its minivans,
which also are produced at a plant near St. Louis, Mo.
Idling production of the Windsor minivan plant could be a sign
that Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler senses slowing demand for
one of its key products.
Chrysler, along with rivals Ford Motor Co. and General Motors
Corp., are choosing to idle plants to adjust to falling consumer
demand so they can avoid stockpiling vehicles. Large inventories
traditionally force the auto makers to offer incentives to sell
U.S. auto sales are expected to remain weak into 2008 as
manufacturers of cars and light trucks have been stung by high fuel
prices and the pressures felt by consumers from declining