Seventeen assembly plants in the United States and Canada (see table below) plus Ford Motor Co.'s Cuautitlan, Mexico, plant are closed this week. An estimated 64,000 vehicles will be lost.
Excluding Christmas and summer vacation weeks, it's the highest number of idle plants since the week ended Aug. 1, 1998, when 33 plants were out of action. That week, 28 GM plants were down because of a strike, and five others were idle because of changeover.
Subaru-Isuzu Automotive Inc. began production of the Isuzu Axiom in Lafayette, Ind., Monday, Jan. 15.
DaimlerChrysler has begun pro-duction of the 2001 Chrysler Prowler.