Toledo, Ohio has just squeaked by a major environmental crisis. A toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie poisoned the city’s water supply, leaving over 400,000 residents high and dry for three days. Restaurants, schools and businesses closed, the National Guard trucked in water, and the governor declared a state of emergency. Meanwhile, Fiat-Chrysler had to resort to creative measures to keep its Toledo Jeep plant running.
Automotive News reports the United Auto Workers has elected secretary-treasurer Dennis Williams, who served in the role under now-retired president Bob King, as the union’s new president in a 3215 to 49 vote during the 36th UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit. Williams, who came from the agricultural wing of the union, is the first union president not to have worked in the automotive industry.
We live in an era of instant gratification. We want everything, right now, done perfectly, right away. A consequences of that is that delays, even when legitimate, are seen as a sign of incompetence, slow movement and an inability to get things done. In many cases, it’s true. But that doesn’t mean we should pillory Chrysler for delaying production of the Cherokee again.
Chrysler has decided to delay production of the Jeep Cherokee again as the company seeks to iron out further quality issues with their crucial new product.
Having planned to idle production plants for a mere ten days over the winter break, Chrysler is responding to weak sales by extending the holiday shutdown of several plants to three weeks or more. The WSJ reports that Chrysler’s Windsor and Brampton plants (minivans, 300/Charger/Challenger) will shut down starting December 21 and will idle through January 18. The Toledo plant (Jeep Wrangler) will also idle beginning on December 21, and will resume production on January 11. Chrysler is also said to be considering extended production shutdowns at its Detroit Viper factory (which is entering final production anyway) and an unspecified Ram plant. Unless December sales numbers turn out to be humdingers, this winter vacation could possibly go on even longer, as Chrysler struggles under falling sales and a 64-day supply inventory.