By on April 6, 2016

FCA US LLC HQ WTFBBQ

The Sterling Heights, Michigan facility that manufactures the Chrysler 200 will have its output halved this summer, with about 1,420 workers laid off indefinitely as a result, reports the Detroit News.

Both production lines of the midsize sedan were idled for nine weeks earlier this year to compensate for an inventory glut and low demand. Now, only one line will stay open, employing about 1,900 workers.

FCA informed United Auto Workers representatives about the layoffs this afternoon, as well as city and state officials.

The automaker stated that the cuts were needed to “better align production with demand.”

Some of those layoffs will be at a stamping plant that supports production at Sterling Heights. Laid off employees will be placed in open full-time positions at other plants, based on seniority, the company said.

Sales of the Chrysler 200 have imploded, especially since Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chairman Sergio Marchionne announced that the model, as well as the Dodge Dart, would eventually be axed in favor of an outsourced small car.

How long the 200 will continue be produced is unknown, but the continuing poor demand meant something had to give at Sterling Heights. FCA saw sales of the 200 drop 63 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

[Source: Reuters]

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36 Comments on “BREAKING: FCA Sterling Heights Shift Cut Will See 1,420 Laid Off Indefinitely...”


  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Sucks, but not exactly surprising.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Shame.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The seeds of failure for the 200 were already sown, and he poured Miracle Gro on them when he made that statement those few weeks ago.

      • 0 avatar
        Serpens

        In reality the comments did very little to the sales. What caused the sales to immediately dry up is FCA pulled the incentives back BIG TIME.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          While it was some of that, it was also a major pullback in fleet sales – last year, about 50% of 200 sales for the 1st quarter were to fleet.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            50%…wow. And they’re all on used lots now, with low miles and a ridiculously low pricetag. Said this before, but there’s no way you can sell new 200s when one with a few miles and $10,000 off is sitting a couple of hundred feet away.

            Do you know what the rest of the 2015 numbers were, by chance?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Agree on the fleet angle. Last summer I drove though Jasper/Banff National parks a couple of times and they were all over the place.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    I’m willing to bet the other line (lines?) will be retooled pretty quickly for Cherokee production.

  • avatar

    Just rename it FJA (Fiat Jeep Automobiles) and be done with it already.

    • 0 avatar
      npaladin2000

      That might have been a joke but it’s actually a good idea. I don’t know why they bothered incorporating the Chrysler name, the brand doesn’t seem long for this world. Jeep, on the other hand, will never ever die.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That’s never a good thing, but I’m not surprised.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Looks like there is currently a 4-month supply of new 200s in the US. Not great, but not horrible, either.

    Some of them are discounted over 40%.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I like the styling.
    A 3-year old second gen example coming off lease ought to be quite cheap in late 2017 / early 2018.
    Is it reliable enough to merit consideration?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    FCA is in worse shape then they were in 2005 – if the price of oil spikes, they’re cooked.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      But I see an opportunity here to wholesale all that unsold stock to fleet and rental companies. After two or three years duty, all those cars will be someone else’s problem, at $9995, out the door.

      GM did something similar back in the eighties, and I picked up a rental Achieva for $7995, out the door. Served our family well ferrying kids to college, until the tranny gave up the ghost.

      Yeah, a Camry it was not.

  • avatar
    dwford

    For the life of me I can’t understand why he would publicly say that they are discontinuing the 200. Are they not going to have a midsize sedan at all? Would it not be better to say merely that they are looking for a partner for the next generation 200, and leave it at that?

  • avatar
    pdieten

    I prefer a sedan for my commute. I keep seeing these low prices on these cars, both new and used, and it’s tempting.

    Then I remember I would be owning a Chrysler 200, and promptly forget that idea.

    See, the one requirement I have of my commuter scooter is that it get me to work and back, every day, when I want to go. I still don’t have any reason to believe that any car-based vehicle from FCA is going to stand up to that requirement.

    • 0 avatar
      PentastarPride

      The 200 is just as reliable as the Accord and the overrated Camry. I’d say the first generation is more so because the second generation has had some issues with transmissions (which were derived from ZF). It has been sorted out by now but the first generation dates back to the 2007 Sebring–regardless of the mudslinging auto journalists have done about that car, its drivetrain is stout, save for the optional 2.7 V6 which the 200 was never equipped with.

      Even though the second generation 200s are steeply discounted, the first generation models are very solid and even better of a deal. In any case, act quickly: the subprime crowd are snatching both kinds up already, and they don’t take care of their cars well. I’m seeing a lot of the first-generation 200s on rubber band tires and with dents and scratches left unrepaired.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It’s OK if you keep them only for as long as you have factory warranty coverage.

      We never had to do any warranty work on our 2012 Grand Cherokee, (I did it myself) but my wife’s three sisters sure had to make use of the factory warranty experiment on each of their 2014 Grand Cherokees.

      Fiatsler Jeep lives and learns. They service what they sell.

      But after the warranty expires, they will charge you dearly for work performed.

      • 0 avatar
        pdieten

        Well yay FCA for taking care of their warranty customers. Just two little problems: (1) In the interest of not constantly getting screwed on depreciation, I usually keep a car until it’s about 10-12 years old, because cars I’ve owned have tended to be reliable for about that long; (2) any time spent dealing with a dealer’s service department is time wasted that I’d much rather spend in other ways, so frankly I’d prefer the car simply not be in the shop for anything other than scheduled maintenance at all. Right now my 157,000-mile ’09 Ford has filled that bill admirably so far, other than the noisy front shocks I had to have replaced.

        Numbers don’t lie. FCA is still bottom of the reliability barrel. No sense taking the risk when better options are available.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          According to the latest VDS results, Ford is also down at the bottom. Though the difference between first and worst only amounts to 1 “problem” per vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            pdieten

            So I’ve heard, last I checked some of that may have had to do with MyFordTouch. My car is too old for that, it just has first generation Sync which works fine with my phone. Nonetheless I’m not necessarily going to replace the car with another Ford. We’ll see when the time comes.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            If your 2009 Ford is a Fusion or Escape, it’s also a remnant of Ford’s partnership with Mazda. Newer Fords are not engineered to the same standard. Those cars were regarded as well as their replacements are badly.

  • avatar
    mwellscubed

    I’ve had one of these on order since November 29th, and it really sucks. My heart goes out to the employees who are experiencing a severe lack of job stability right now, but I don’t think the company could’ve handled this any worse.

    My biggest frustration is that while Chrysler continued to churn out cars to fill dealership lots, they’ve kept customers like myself waiting for months for their vehicles.

    Mock me if you want, but it’s my company car, and my other two choices were a Chevy Trax and a Malibu, so despite the delays… I still think I made the right choice. Just kinda sick of waiting, at this point.

    • 0 avatar
      Zoom

      What’s so special about it that you had to order one? There are a lot to choose from on lots right now, at deep discounts.

      • 0 avatar
        mwellscubed

        I’m one of those much-bemoaned fleet customers that everyone likes to complain about for ruining the residual value of their econoboxes.

        So I place an order through my fleet desk, and they’re pretty dead-set on receiving THAT car and ONLY that car. As much as I’d love it if they just set me loose with a budget, I’m not that important.

        Instead, I sit here, waiting.

  • avatar
    TomHend

    They will find new jobs quickly, the unemployment rate is only 5%.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    I just unloaded my 2015 200S V6 AWD w/29K on the odo. I loved the car. The V6 was super sweet and the 9 speed was actually a blast once the computer was reflashed and it wasn’t clunky anymore.

    Wholesale trade value sucked!! Car listed for $33,340. I took the 0% and went 72 months with the intention of paying it off in 48 months or so.

    I traded it in because needed a SUV for work. I had it down to a Touota 4Runner Trail and a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk V6. It came down to price. The 4Runner listed for $37K and the Trailhawk was $35. The best deal was the Trailhawk by far basically because all the ‘Yota dealers acted if the 4Runner was played in 24 carat gold. Tried 4 different ‘Yota dealers. I asked for $4200 off. That included holdback too. I’ve always gotten holdback if the manufacturer has it. Anyways the jeep ended up being $28,100. I liked both and it was a tough choice.

    The point of my long winded story is that I was averaging about $16500 tradein. One dealer was $18K. But my in town dealer hit me at $21500 and honored the $28100 sale price. I somehow ended up working via email with the stores young Sales Manager. Scott was awesome. They even had to drive 400 for a dealer locate to get exactly what I wanted. Trade value already sucked by February after having the 200 15 months.

    FCA is making a mistake taking the cash off the hood. Put it back in and move the 200s off the lot.

    As of last week my 200 was still sitting on the lot priced at $23K. I guess mine listed at $33400 new and if I took the cash I would be $25-26k?? Easy-peasy choice for me. The new one.

    Sorry for being so long. Still not sure my on my point.

  • avatar

    Instead of FCA dumping untold incentive dollars on it, why don’t they ADD extra value and give it a unique selling point over the competition? How about making the Pentastar V6 and/or AWD standard? It would differentiate it from all the others in the midsize class that are now using those damn tiny turbos, and don’t even offer a V6, let alone AWD.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I’m seeing $27xxx 200s being advertised on the web for $20xxx. And yet, I’m not seeing any advertising of the deals. I think a lot of potential buyers don’t know that that you can buy a well-equipped car for the price of a stripper.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I see plenty of new 200’s in the NYC metro area but not as many Darts. Apparently dealers are throwing a lot of money on the hood and a lot of the buyers are working and middle-class folks.”Honey you might as well go with the 200, its less than a Altima and not that different” Many ads in local papers list the base/LX for under $20k.

    If I was in the market for a mid-sizer a loaded S or C version with the Pentastar V6 and AWD looks like a nice package. A Camry, Accord or Sonata not available with AWD nor 8 speed auto.

    You figure when FCA designed these based on the Dart as a mid-sized car to compete with Camry/Accord/Malibu/Fusion etc. they would have stretched the rear a tad with longer doors and more rear hip and leg room.

    Since Fiat will still be building a mid-sized platform aka. Compact Wide (Viaggio) for other markets it makes no sense to not have a model here in the states.

    • 0 avatar
      npaladin2000

      Actually, the reason is that the production capacity would be better utilized building Cherokees, which use the same exact platform but are selling much better in the US.

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