FCA Minivan Plant Avoids Supplier-related Shutdown, Gets Hit With Another
Maybe God has it out for Windsor, Ontario. Or maybe fate has a sense of irony, at least when it comes to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
The automaker’s minivan plant, which builds the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Pacifica, handily sidestepped a supplier-related shutdown this week, only to be unexpectedly hit with another. The assembly lines go dark in Windsor next week.
Earlier this week, FCA was worried a potential union strike at a plant that manufactures its minivan seats could throw a wrench into its operation, but last night’s strike deadline came and went with no walkout. Instead, the 1,000 unionized employees at Integram (Magna) Seating reached a tentative agreement, according to Automotive News.
FCA and General Motors, which uses the seats in its Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, breathed a sigh of relief. But wait, there’s more! said fate.
Blame a warehouse fire at a Tennessee supplier for putting a damper on the jubilation. A union official tells Automotive News FCA’s Windsor plant will shut down Monday, with the production stoppage lasting through the week. You see, a minivan needs both seats and headlights.
Magneti Marelli’s Pulaski, TN warehouse went up in flames early Tuesday morning, destroying its stock of headlights and taillights. Apparently, cardboard boxes are very flammable.
The automaker confirmed the shutdown, with FCA Canada spokeswoman Lou Ann Gosselin telling the Windsor Star, “Due to a parts shortage caused by a fire at a U.S.-based supplier, the Windsor Assembly Plant will be down four days (Nov. 7 – 10) and the Toledo Assembly Complex’s North plant will be down Monday, Nov. 7.”
Canadian employees were already scheduled to be off work on November 11 to mark Remembrance Day.
Gosselin stated FCA “will continue monitoring recovery efforts and evaluate future production actions later this week.”
The Toledo North plant builds the Jeep Wrangler, Wrangler Unlimited and Cherokee.
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]
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