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DaimlerChrysler to Idle Some Plants, November Sales Fall 5%

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said November U.S. sales fell 5% from a year ago and set plans to idle certain plants during the next three weeks.

The company sold 184,065 vehicles during the month. Sales of sport utility vehicles rose 6%, but truck sales fell 2%, and car sales fell 15%. Minivan sales fell 16%.

The automaker also said it will operate 10 of 12 North American facilities the week of Dec. 4. During the week of Dec. 11, DaimlerChrysler will idle one plant, while five facilities will be idled the week of Dec. 18.

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In November , the German-American company sacked several members of Chrysler's U.S. management and replaced them with German executives. The company also warned that the U.S. division would miss previous forecasts.

Shortly thereafter, DaimlerChrysler's third-largest shareholder, Tracinda, an investment firm controlled by financier Kirk Kerkorian,

sued the company and its top executives, alleging that they fraudulently induced Chrysler shareholders to vote for the 1998 deal with


, billing it as a merger of equals to secure the transaction.