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Chrysler reducing inventory
Detroit News wire reports
DaimlerChrysler AG's U.S. unit said it will reduce inventories of unsold vehicles to "normal" levels by the end of the year, falling short of an earlier goal.
The company's "sales bank" -- the inventory of vehicles not ordered by dealers -- will fall to a "low five-digit" figure by the end of the year, CEO Tom LaSorda said Thursday on the company's Web site. Specific numbers weren't disclosed.
The company's plan lags behind a goal laid out Nov. 29 by former U.S. sales chief Joe Eberhardt, who said he wanted the sales bank supply at "zero." Spokesman Mike Aberlich said Thursday that Eberhardt may have misspoke. "What we meant to say is that we will return to historic levels," he said.
Chrysler's announcement comes a day after reports that holiday shutdowns will be extended at some of its assembly plants for as long as four weeks starting Dec. 22 to cut inventory. The U.S. unit, which makes Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles, lost $1.5 billion last quarter.
LaSorda said dealer inventories will be in the "low 500,000 range" by the start of 2007.
 
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