updated 12/14/2006 8:51:29 AM ET 2006-12-14T13:51:29

DaimlerChrysler’s high inventory — built up due to weakening demand — has triggered a halt in production at several U.S. auto assembly plants, the Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site on Thursday.

Chrysler is planning to suspend production at the plants for as much as four weeks going over the Christmas holiday in a bid to get inventories to normal levels, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The move could hurt the car maker’s revenue, because auto companies book revenue based on the new vehicles they ship to dealers, the paper said.

A Chrysler spokeswoman at group headquarters in Stuttgart declined to comment on the report. “The company its not discussing its future [production] schedule,” she said.

The plants in line for longer stoppages include truck factories in St. Louis, Warren, Mich., and Newark, Del.; a Jeep plant in Detroit; and minivan plants in Windsor, Ontario, and St. Louis, the newspaper said.

Chrysler plans to announce on Thursday that it has reduced its stock of cars built without dealer orders — referred to as “unassigned” vehicles — to fewer than 20,000, the paper said, citing people familiar with the matter. That would be down from as high as 100,000 earlier this year.

It also plans to say it will finish 2006 with about 525,000 vehicles on dealer lots, giving it a total U.S. inventory of roughly 545,000 cars and trucks, the WSJ said.

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