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DaimlerChrysler to Idle Three Plants

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German-American automaker

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

said its Chrysler group will shut down operations in three North American vehicle assembly plants next week in order to balance inventories.

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The plants are Bramalea, Ontario, which produces the Chrysler Concorde, Dodge Intrepid, Chrysler 300M and Chrysler LHS; Jefferson North in Detroit, which produces the Jeep Grand Cherokee; and Toledo, Ohio, where the Jeep Cherokee and Wrangler are made.

The cutbacks follow the arrival of Chrysler's new German executive, Dieter Zetsche, who arrived at Chrysler's Auburn Hills, Mich., headquarters three days ago. He replaced the unit's former boss, James Holden, who was dismissed last week.

DaimlerChrysler's shares slid $1.25 to $38.85 in

New York Stock Exchange

composite trading Tuesday, close to its 52-week low of $37.90.