An anonymous source has told a news agency that Chrysler plans to close two additional plants for two weeks in January in the latest example of a US vehicle maker using production cuts instead of incentives to control inventory amid falling demand.

The source told the Associated Press (AP) that Chrysler would temporarily shut its Jefferson North plant in Detroit and its Windsor, Ontario, plant from 14 January.

Jefferson North builds the Jeep Commander and Grand Cherokee and Windsor the Dodge and Chrysler minivans, and both are already scheduled to shut for two weeks, the source was quoted as saying.

AP noted that Chrysler had previously planned temporary production halts at pickup truck plants in Warren, Michigan, and Fenton, Missouri before Christmas and through January while a third truck plant in Mexico was scheduled to shut down for the first two weeks of January.

The news agency noted that, while US industry sales of SUVs and pickup trucks are generally slumping, Chrysler had recently introduced redesigned minivans, which are also produced at a plant near Saint Louis, Missouri.

Idling production of the Windsor minivan plant could be a sign that Chrysler senses slowing demand for one of its key products, the news agency suggested.

The Associated Press also noted the Big Three's trend to idle plants to adjust to falling consumer demand so they can avoid stockpiling vehicles - large inventories traditionally force them to offer incentives to sell vehicles.