In what will be interpreted as an early sign of softening demand in the booming US light vehicle market, Chrysler has announced that it will shut down two of its plants in Canada and Delaware this week.

AP reports that the shutdowns will idle a combined 4,700 workers at a Brampton, Ontario, plant that builds Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler Concorde and Chrysler 300M sedans and a Newark, Del., factory that makes Dodge Durango sport-utility vehicles.

The report adds that the closures have resulted from the carmaker's desire to trim inventories as well as the arrival of 2003 models. It is DC's first plant shutdowns in North America since April.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more