Gas prices are skyrocketing, car sales are down, and construction has been hurt by a slowing economy. For the auto industry, that means pickup truck sales are sagging. The Dodge Ram has been feeling the pinch, with sales down 2% vs. 2006 and sky-high incentives to keep numbers even that close. In years past, Chrysler management would have rammed more Rams down their dealers' throats, but the Cerberus regime is opting to idle plants instead. Both the Warren, MI and Fenton, MO plants will be shuttered for the entire month of January. The Coahuila, Mexico truck plant, which builds the 2500-5500 HD trucks, will also be closing for the first two weeks of the new year.

With the unveiling of the all-new 2009 Dodge Ram in Detroit only a few weeks away, things are looking pretty meek for the full-size truck market. While we're sure the thousands of temporarily laid off workers would rather be building trucks, at least they'll have plenty of time to check out their next build in Cobo Hall at the 2008 NAIAS.


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