Windsor Assembly

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Windsor Assembly

Windsor Assembly is a Chrysler automobile factory in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The factory opened in 1928 and started minivan production in 1983. Windsor Assembly is also Windsor's largest employer with about 4,698 employees.[1]

Overview[edit]

The plant is 408,773 square meters (4.4 million sq. ft.)[2] on 50 hectares (123.3 acres) and manufactured the Generation I Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager minivans from 1983 until 1991. The Generation II minivans, constructed on the AS platform was equipped with an optional V6 engine and in a new long wheel-base version. The Generation III (NS) minivan production began in 1995 — with dual sliding doors. Starting in July 2000 the Generation IV (RS) minivan, which included the Stow'n Go seating, was produced until July 2007. In August 2007 the Generation IV (RT) minivan was introduced which continues with the Stow 'n Go and features the new Swivel'n Go seating.

The plant operates with 3 shifts and produces about 1,426 vehicles per day. Windsor Assembly started assembling the new Volkswagen Routan (RM) on the same platform as the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country models in August 2008. With the closure of Windsor Assembly's sister plant in St. Louis Missouri, in late October 2008, Windsor started producing the Right Hand Drive and Diesel versions for the world market in August 2009 for the 2010 model year.

Future[edit]

With recent economic struggles, the future of high paying unionized jobs in Canada came under fire in late 2012. Receiving a warm welcome at the plant in January 2013 and promising Windsor Assembly a future for a new multiple use platform, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne threatened to move production out of Canada if the CAW did not agree to lower labor costs. As the strike deadline for CAW negotiations on September 17, 2012 was approaching, tensions were high as to what was going to happen.[3]

The CAW struck a tentative deal with Ford early in the day Monday September 17, allowing an extension for the midnight strike deadline and averting a labor walkout. This allowed Chrysler to continue negotiations with the CAW; however, the CAW was on 24-hour strike notice. “We have agreed with the CAW to extend the agreement,” LouAnn Gosselin, head of communications for Chrysler Canada, said in an email. The union agreed to keep talking as long as progress was being made.[4] Soon after a tentative 4-year agreement was struck with Chrysler late Wednesday after meeting the pattern established with Ford and General Motors contracts, thus guaranteeing Windsor Assembly’s future for another 4 years.[5]

Fast forward to January 2013 and praise surrounding Windsor Assembly Plant for making drastic changes in its operation process to become more efficient, Sergio Marchionne said the next generation minivan will be launched in 2015 at Windsor Assembly. The comments augur well for the future of the 3-shift plant, after Chrysler posted a net profit of $1.7 billion in 2012 including a nine-fold increase from $183 million in 2011.[6]

The next minivan to launch will wear a Chrysler Town & Country badge and be launched as a 2016 model. Production will begin in 2015 at Windsor Assembly, which will also begin production of the promised multiple platform vehicle the following year, being launched as a 2017 model. The new CUV would likely be similar to the Chrysler Pacifica, a luxury crossover that was assembled in Windsor from 2003 to 2007.[7]

The new vehicle (depending on its price point), would probably border between a large CUV or large luxury CUV. The closest vehicle in Chrysler's current lineup is the Dodge Durango. A vehicle in this category would compete with competition such as: Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Acura MDX, Lincoln MKT, and the Infiniti JX.[8]

Primary reasons for such moves and ambitions are the pressure the minivan segment has been under recently, primarily from growing SUV and crossover utility vehicles. Minivan sales peaked in the U.S. at 1.4[9](1.25 according to NY Times)[10] million in 2000, but have dropped rapidly as consumers have switched to popular crossover wagons. Sergio Marchionne has said he expects North American sales to stabilize anywhere between 500,000 and 700,000 units.

Products Made (model years)[edit]

Past Products[edit]

Some of the past models made at the plant included:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chrysler Media Info". Chrysler Media. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  2. ^ "Chrysler Media Info". Chrysler Media. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  3. ^ "Windsor Local News". Windsor Star. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  4. ^ "Windsor Local News". CBC News. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  5. ^ "Windsor Local News". CTV News. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  6. ^ "Windsor Local News". Windsor Star. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-08. 
  7. ^ "Windsor Local News". Windsor Star. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  8. ^ "Windsor Local News". Windsor Star. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  9. ^ "Windsor Local News". Windsor Star. 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  10. ^ "North American Auto News". New York Times. 2010. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 

Coordinates: 42°17′41.22″N 82°59′4.24″W / 42.2947833°N 82.9845111°W / 42.2947833; -82.9845111