Windsor Assembly Plant Readying For Extensive Renovation

windsor assembly plant readying for extensive renovation

FCA US’ Windsor Assembly Plant is about to undergo the most extensive renovation since the 1980s, all to ready the plant for the automaker’s new minivan.

Detroit Free Press reports the plant will be shutdown for 14 weeks between mid-February through late May so that 1,500 employees and 50 contractors remake 80 percent of the 4.4-million-square-foot facility prior to the June 2015 pilot production of a next-gen Chrysler minivan that will carry on the minivan legacy once the Dodge Grand Caravan is discontinued.

Supply of current-gen minivans are expected to last until production resumes later this spring, the result of a six-day-a-week run during the second half of 2014 per plant manager Michael Brieda. As of December, FCA US has a 78-day inventory of the Chrysler Town & Country and a 67-day inventory of the aforementioned Grand Caravan.

Renovations include 822 new robots and a “skillet” line that allows floor workers to bring a body shell down or up to their height. The overhaul is part of a $2 billion investment meant to bolster the fortunes of both the automaker and the city of Windsor, Ontario, where the iconic vehicle has been assembled since 1983.

Join the conversation
8 of 17 comments
  • CJinSD CJinSD on Feb 11, 2015

    Anyone else struck by just how mini that 1984 Dodge Caravan looks between the two current vans? A minivan might be just as revolutionary today as it was then.

    • See 2 previous
    • PentastarPride PentastarPride on Feb 11, 2015

      I think the 1991-1995 Chrysler minivans "resemble" the current ones today (2008-15) in many respects. It's not as aerodynamic-looking or "fluid" as the 1996-2000/2001-2007 varieties. The cab-forward design exists in the current models, it just doesn't show very well. The headlight/taillight and grille designs do share a few elements in the original (1984-1995) design, and the windshield wipers go back to the standard configuration, and not the "folding" action as was the case in 1996-2007. The dashboard and a lot of the interior reverted back to simple, straight and clean lines.

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Feb 11, 2015

    Let's hope that Sergio's decision to take the van 'upmarket', available only as a Town & Country does not throw a monkey wrench into these plans.

  • Dtremit Dtremit on Feb 11, 2015

    The Freep link in the article is broken, btw.

  • Sooke Sooke on Feb 12, 2015

    I'm guessing now that the Canadian dollar has collapsed to 80 cents US, Canada is no longer the most expensive place in the world to build a car.