By on November 4, 2016

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

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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11 Comments on “FCA Minivan Plant Avoids Supplier-related Shutdown, Gets Hit with Another...”

  • avatar

    I was going to say that I didn’t understand why they just couldn’t ship the vans, sans headlights, (and then have Headlight Factory mail directly to dealers) but then I figured that without headlights, the vans wouldn’t meet the FMVSS any more, and therefore could not be imported into the US.

    • 0 avatar

      Plus that would be a logistical nightmare, shipping headlights to hundreds of dealers. Also, an Italian company using Italian headlights? Shocka!

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah, it’d be a logistical nightmare shipping out all those boxes of headlights, but nothing a room full of temps and a couple of reports pulled from the shipping database couldn’t fix.

      • 0 avatar

        “Also, an Italian company using Italian headlights? Shocka!”

        The Magneti Marelli subsidiary that makes headlights is the imaginatively called AL-Automotive Lighting. Since the company is headquartered in Germany and the headlights in question are made in the US, what makes them Italian ?

    • 0 avatar

      Nope. with rare exception, incomplete vehicles do not go down the line. no parts, no build.

  • avatar

    Why should we even care about a company that doesn’t care about its’ customers. THese jerkoffs deserve whatever they get.

  • avatar

    Is there even a purpose for Chrysler anymore?

    FCA should kill the brand and add the Pacifica and next-gen 300 to the Fiat lineup.

    Bring the panda over. Throw in the Tipo for kicks and everything is solved.

  • avatar

    The new Pacifica WILL BE my next Amtrak locomotive-painted minivan. I have already custom-painted a 2000 Oldsmobile Silhouette GL and a 2005 Buick Terraza CXL. “Phase Three” red, white and blue stripes all the way around. Locomotive number 644 and license plate SDP40F!

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      It should really be a Traverse to keep the GM theme.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed, however most SUVs do not have the SDP40F block look to them. The Pacifica does have way too many curves for the strictly horizontal Amtrak scheme. I don’t want curving lines traveling from front to rear.
        I wish GM would still make a quality minivan (where’s the new Silhouette???). Also, for some reason just cannot drive a Chevrolet. GMC (Acadia) – yes; Buick (Enclave)- yes!
        Since 2014 I have owned a 2006 Buick Rainier CXL painted in the black and orange Milwaukee Road SDL39 #586 colors from 1982. It celebrates the ten six-axle locomotives ordered from EMD for only the Milwaukee Road in 1969 and 1972. I got a cab ride in an SDL39 at age 17 in Minnesota!
        Number 583 was destroyed in an accident and the other nine are in Chile!
        I will never buy a Honda, Toyota or Kia. I don’t care where they are assembled.
        Make Oldsmobile great again!

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