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While Audi stalks BMW for the luxury sales crown and scepter, the fortunes of Mercedes-Benz are a little more mixed as CEO Dieter Zetsche gets the three-pointed house in order. The latest snafu, according to a report by Reuters, is that Benz's Sindelfingen plant, the largest in its production family, will be cutting production due to softening sales in Europe and China. Daimler has already come out denying that the cuts will happen.

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General Motors has just announced it will cut vehicle production in the first quarter of 2009 by 250,000 units. The slowdown in production will reportedly affect some 21 factories in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, which may see their traditional shut-down period over the holidays extended through the end of January, and in some cases into February. This means that most GM factories in North America will sit idle for nearly a third of Q1 2009. GM has not specified which plants will be affected and

As part of its accelerated "Way Forward" turnaround strategy, Ford Motor announced today that it will cut North American production by 21 percent (168,000 vehicles) in the fourth quarter of this year. Third quarter production will by cut by 20,000 units.

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