While the exact location of the next Chrysler minivan is still up in the air, some clues as to whether it will stay in Windsor, Ontario could be found in the plant’s re-tooling time.
According to the Windsor Star, Unifor Local 444 President Dino Chiodo said that there could be
“about a two to three-month shutdown to retool the facility…If there is a full investment there could be a downtime associated to it…We don’t know whether it will be two weeks, four weeks, two months potentially. That’s what could be happening if there is a full refresh of the current vehicle and a full rebuild of the new vehicle that’s projected for 2016.”
While Chiodo went on to talk about the economic impacts of a long term shutdown (with certain suppliers not getting the same benefits as Unifor), the longer downtime would suggest that FCA is investing serious money in Windsor to allow it to build a new flexible architecture for not just the new minivan, but other crossovers and sedans built on the same platform. That would be a case of exchanging some short-term pain for the long term payoff of a secure future for Windsor.