By on June 30, 2014

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Chrysler will re-tool their Windsor Assembly Plant to build the next-generation Chrysler Town & Country, effectively securing the plant’s future for years to come.

According to The Windsor Star, the re-tooling, which will begin in February and last for 13 weeks, will almost certainly transform the plant into one that is capable of building vehicles based on a new, front-drive flexible architecture. The new minivan is expected to ride on this architecture, with a new crossover also sharing the same underpinnings.

That would leave Windsor in a prime position to build the new vehicle, which would go into production in 2017. While Chrysler walked away from a request for a $1 billion subsidy package, the prospect of another vehicle added to Windsor could mean that FCA and various levels of the Canadian government could be back at the bargaining table fairly soon.

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16 Comments on “Windsor Assembly Re-Tooling For Next Generation Chrysler Minivan...”


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Nice as the current Chrysler minivans are, they still use the company’s older electronics interface and have several tracees of pre-Fiat in their interiors and overall design. I think the next generation will be Chrysler’s chance to really shine.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    This is good news for Kia.

    As Chrysler tries to refocus and move upmarket to becoming a mainstream brand, they will need to stop using price as the primary differentiation. The new T&C will have to compete on its own merits with the Odyssey and Sienna, which will be quite a challenge.

    At the same time, FCA is killing the Caravan, meaning that fleet buyers and those who buy on price will no longer have a supplier. This is how Kia steals 60-100K in volume without breaking a sweat.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Until the bugs are out of the new van, Chrysler should build both the old and new versions, much like GM and Ford have done with pickups from time to time.

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      They are.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Or, Chrysler could redouble its commitment to long term vehicle quality. Then people won’t have to choose between the outdated version and the new, buggy version.

      Quality is free.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Quality is free, but only if you bake it in from the beginning, and it’s almost all engineering. It can be sabotaged by poor materials/assembly, but those can be fixed relatively cheaply if the engineering is solid. Trying to correct engineering/design deficiencies later costs big bucks.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Grand Caravan stays in production for another 2 years until the new crossover or whatever is coming out.

        I think this could be another Grand Cherokee moment when Mopar just crushes the competition. Look how the top Jeep just destroys the 4runner and Pilot.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          Shill

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            What JapanInc appliance can stand up to the Grand Cherokee? The big Jeep is even outselling the zaibatsu crew in their backyard of Australia

            The days of JapanInc invincibility are over after TEPCO

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Bill,
            The Grand Cherokee is a solid vehicle that sells well. It really says a lot for German engineering and Italian ownership.

            But a few things to keep in mind:
            1. Japan Inc. is not a helpful metaphor. If you knew how much Toyota and Honda hate each other and compete in the marketplace, I think you would drop it.

            2. The phrase Zaibatsu crew is not helpful or current. The Zaibatsu gave way to Keiretsu decades ago.

            3. It’s not clear how Grand Cherokee sales in Australia are relevant to a discussion on minivan production in Canada.

            4. No one is making claims for Japanese invincibility, and bringing up the nuclear disaster seems more cruel than convincing.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Yeah, with the volume they move on the Town and Country, Grand Caravan and Ram C/V, I’m sure all the tooling was paid for a long time ago.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    i don’t suppose they’re gonna use the Dart-derived longer wheelbase platform from the 200 for this?

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    I recently rode in a 2012 Grand Caravan, which is the same thing that’s coming out now. It’s not bad, lots of space, good power,comfy seats, etc but the design is getting long in the tooth. Some of the interior is starting to look dated.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    They are all errr….”out of date” after a four year old pukes up in it a couple of times. I’m seeing a Pentastar equipped Dodge for less than 19K. For a guy with a couple of little kids, you aren’t going to beat that for a very long time.

    • 0 avatar
      bryanska

      hah! Exactly. If there are any kids under 9 in your family, bet your ass you can’t keep a luxury minivan looking the part.

      There’s a case for buying the current-gen knowing that you’ll never get your money’s worth out of a pricey new model.


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