A Chrysler Corp. spokesman says the automaker will quit building passenger cars in the 86-year-old Kenosha plant on Dec. 23, laying off about 5,300 people.

Lloyd Northard in Detroit said Chrysler would build the L-body Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon and the M-body Chrysler Fifth Avenue, Dodge Diplomat and Plymouth Gran Fury models up to Dec. 23."After Dec. 23, Chrysler will stop building passenger cars in Kenosha," he said.

Northard said a work force of about 1,200 employees, including 200 to 250 salaried workers, would remain to produce engines in Kenosha after the assembly lines shut down.

He said Chrysler now has about 6,500 Kenosha employees, including 600 salaried workers.

"Obviously, there will be people needed after Dec. 23 in the L-body tear-down operation and workers will also be needed to dismantle the M-body tooling," he said.

He said when the assembly lines shut down, workers will begin moving L-body tooling equipment to Chrysler's Jefferson Avenue plant in Detroit. He said the Jefferson Avenue plant is expected to begin producing L-body cars in March.