Chrysler Friday Unpleasantness II: Shift Cut at Windsor Minivan Factory
First, this from Chrysler’s September sales press release. “Chrysler LLC’s minivan sales continued to thrive in September based on their strong appeal as fuel efficient, multi-passenger vehicles. Compared with September sales in 2007, the Chrysler Town & Country achieved a 6 percent increase with sales of 9,229 units, and the Dodge Grand Caravan increased 6 percent with sales of 11,056 units. With more than 12 million minivans sold worldwide in their 25-year history, Chrysler and Dodge minivans still command 40 percent of the U.S. minivan market.” Now this from CBCnews.ca. “Chrysler said Friday it will eliminate one shift at its Windsor, Ont., assembly plant over the next three weeks… CAW local 444 President Rick Laporte said he’s aware the company is trying to re-adjust inventory since minivan sales have dropped. ‘My understanding is the minivan sales have really fallen off; my understanding is they have actually fallen off 25 per cent,’ said Laporte, whose local represents about 5,000 workers at the Windsor minivan assembly plant. ‘There’s no orders — the dealer’s have got all they need at this point in time, so that’s why they’re slowing down.’ Each shift employs between 1,200 and 1,500 workers. The employees will be able to file for unemployment insurance and supplementary unemployment benefits.”
Who ya gonna believe? Me? Or your lying eyes?
Is it the market? Or the fact that dealers are cutting orders given fears about the fate of the company? If CLLC goes TU, dealers are on the hook--personally--for the floorplan. Unless they declare bankruptcy, of course....and then soak either Chrysler Financial or Chase. The end game is near.
So will this affect the demand for VW Routan production? A friend's sister recently bought one of these Chrysler minivans new simply because they offered her a ridiculous $8k off the sticker price. Sometimes decisions happily are made for you.
So how much of the VW van does Chrysler assemble? Any of it? Still not sold on the styling but it looks like it has alot of nice features. The real value for me would be whether I could still expect a reliable vehicle at 175K or 200K miles. Repairs are expected, total failure of much of the vehicle's components would not be. How bad do things need to get before Detroit changes it's ways long term?