Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Canadian automotive manufacturing plants in Windsor and East Brampton are in no danger of shuttering, Unifor President Jerry Dias says, even as the future of the Chrysler and Dodge brands appear to be in limbo. Both brands were mostly left out of FCA’s latest five-year plan, which will guide the company’s decision-making through 2022, although FCA says that the brands will remain important components of the automaker’s business into the future.
FCA’s Brampton Assembly plant currently produces the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, and Chrysler 300; its Windsor plant builds the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Pacifica. Combined, the two plants claim roughly 9,600 hourly workers as their own.
According to Automotive News, Jerry Dias – the president of Canada’s largest private-sector trade union – says he’s been assured the two plants will remain open, receiving future product commitments after the current-generation vehicles listed above have ended production. At present, the future of the Chrysler 300 seems grim, but FCA is expected to release all-new versions of the Challenger pony car and Charger muscle sedan using evolved versions of their current LA and LD platforms. Whether FCA’s Dodge- and Chrysler-branded minivans will stick around for the long haul is unknown.
Regardless, Jerry Dias says that he believes FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne – a business executive with both Italian and Canadian citizenship – will want to keep the company’s Canadian plants open. “I take him at his word,” Dias says. “I doubt very much that he would want to see the fall of those plants on his watch.”
Granted, Marchionne is set to retire from FCA next year after more than a decade at the helm of Fiat, and US President Donald Trump’s threats to impose new tariffs on imported automobiles represents another potential complication. Ultimately, whether Dias ends up being proven right or wrong depends on more than whether the Chrysler and Dodge brands are kept active.
(Source: Automotive News)