Slow sales prompt DaimlerChrysler to temporarily close plants in Detroit, Del., Mo., Ontario

Wednesday, October 3rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DETROIT (AP) _ DaimlerChrysler AG said Wednesday it will idle five assembly plants for part of October because of sluggish auto sales.

Approximately 15,000 employees will be affected, DaimlerChrysler spokesman Trevor Hale said. The temporary shutdowns will result in 26,000 vehicles being taken out of production, he said.

The automaker on Tuesday reported a 28 percent drop in sales last month compared with September 2000.

Two assembly plants in Windsor, Ontario, are being shut down this week. Windsor Assembly builds minivans and the Pilette plant builds Ram Van wagons.

The St. Louis South assembly plant in Fenton, Mo., will shut down next week. It also builds minivans.

During the week of Oct. 15, Jefferson North in Detroit, which builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee; Newark, Del., which builds the Dodge Durango, and the Pilette plant in Windsor, will be idled.

The Pilette plant also will be closed during the week of Oct. 22.

Hale said the decision came as a direct result of the disappointing September sales figures and the need to balance inventory with demand.

``We're not overreacting,'' he said. ``We're being cautious, looking at the market.''