U.S. auto makers temporarily are cutting back production of fullsize pickup trucks due to falling demand blamed largely on a housing and construction slump, high gasoline prices and other headwinds.

November sales fell 9.7% compared with year-ago to 143,588 units, Ward’s data shows, with deliveries sliding 3.3% through the first 11 months to 1,966,276.

General Motors Corp. last year introduced new versions of its GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado fullsize pickups, which saw sales last month tumble 10.0% and 14.1%, respectively.

As a result, the auto maker is idling its Flint, MI, No.3 (medium-duty) and Janesville, WI, plants the weeks of Jan. 7 and 14, a spokeswoman says.

Additionally, GM’s Oshawa, ON, Canada, truck plant; Pontiac, MI, assembly plant; Moraine, OH, assembly; and Shreveport, LA, facility will be closed the week of Jan. 14.

“We do this on occasion to bring inventory levels in line with market demand,” the spokeswoman says. “We produce a schedule every week, so things change, but that’s what we are predicting at this point. After the holidays, it may be different.”

Deliveries of the Ford F-150 declined 13.0% in November to 42,231 units, according to Ward’s data. Ford Motor Co. reportedly plans to shutter some pickup truck plants in the first quarter.

A Ford spokeswoman declines to reveal which plants will halt production. “What we said is production would be cut 7% in the first-quarter,” she says. “That (applies) to all vehicles.”

Privately held Chrysler LLC disputes published reports that Ram pickup output will be halted at plants in Warren, MI, and Fenton, MO. “We don’t talk about plant schedules,” a Chrysler spokesman says. “We (plan production) week by week.”

Chrysler plans to unveil an all-new version of its Dodge Ram at next month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Ram sales dropped 12.9% in November, compared with like-2006, to 24,243 units.

bpope@wardsauto.com