According to reports from Berlin, Daimler AG (NYSE: DAI) plans to suspend its auto production from December 11 to January 12 due to weak auto sales. The auto maker has issued a profit warning on full-year earnings after posting a profit of $273.5 million in the third quarter, reversing a net loss of $1.9 billion in the same quarter last year.

Declining sales in North America due to the economic crisis is seen as the driving force for the decline in revenue, which is down 7 percent to $30.5 billion in the quarter compared to $32 billion in the same period a year ago.

According to a statement by Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars,

"We recognize that the situation is very challenging indeed."

In addition, the company is temporarily suspending its $7.5 billion share buyback program that began on June 17; a buyback plan of 10 percent of the shares by April 2009 was previously expected.

Also this month, Daimler announced plans to eliminate its Sterling truck brand and shift production from the United States to Mexico; end result is 3,500 less jobs in Canada and the United States. << see Oct. 15, 2008, Herald Tribune article >>