Dodge Grand Caravan Gets a Date With Death; Plant to Shed 1,500 Jobs

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
dodge grand caravan gets a date with death plant to shed 1 500 jobs

It’s not unexpected, but it still comes as a blow. The impending loss of the Dodge Grand Caravan stands to sadden lovers of the industry’s longest running, most inflation-resistant minivan, but it’s a truly bitter pill for workers at Fiat Chrysler’s Windsor Assembly Plant.

As reported yesterday by Canada’s Financial Post, the Grand Caravan — darling of Lee Iacocca, chariot to young soccer players for decades — will cease production at the end of May.

The Windsor, Ontario plant will shed its third shift on June 29th, leading to the layoff of 1,500 workers. Like the Grand Caravan itself, those jobs were running on borrowed time.

After years of rumors and speculation, last year’s reveal of the downmarket Chrysler Voyager signalled that the aging Grand Caravan’s demise was both near and unavoidable. FCA originally planned to

FCA spokeswoman Lou Ann Gosselin told FP, “The company will make every effort to place indefinitely laid off hourly employees in open full-time positions as they become available based on seniority and will offer retirement packages to eligible employees.”

The shift cut will surely factor into collective bargaining talks scheduled to kick off this summer between FCA and autoworkers’ union Unifor. Declining Canadian production volume is an ongoing trend as demands for fresh product increasingly fall on deaf ears in Detroit. Last year saw the end of vehicle production at General Motors’ Oshawa, Ontario plant.

While the Windsor plant has gained a new product, it’s simply a variant of the existing Chrysler Pacifica minivan. As Tim Cain told you recently, the minivan segment is not a growth segment. Not by a long shot.

Elsewhere in Ontario, FCA’s Brampton plant stands to lose the Chrysler 300 before long as sales of the company’s ancient crop of rear-drive throwbacks slowly dwindle. With FCA’s product pipeline already notoriously unpredictable, and with the automaker poised to merge with France’s PSA Group, the near future looks rocky for FCA’s Canuck workers. Fingers are no doubt crossed in the hopes that brighter days lie ahead.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • PentastarPride PentastarPride on Feb 28, 2020

    Sad times but I guess people get antsy about cars/platforms sticking around longer than a couple years. I personally like the refreshed RT minivans over the CUSW Pacifica/Voyager, especially the Town and Country. I've always maintained that Pacifica should have went to a CUV which, undeniably, Chrysler needs. It's good that some heritage remains by way of the Voyager name.

    • See 1 previous
    • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Feb 28, 2020

      @highdesertcat The $3K premium for the 2020 Launch Edition with AWD also includes some feature content. Chrysler hasn't released 2021 pricing yet. We'll see what the actual premium for the AWD system only is when they do. Toyota charges about $1400 and I don't think Chrysler can get away with charging that much more.

  • BoltEVJay BoltEVJay on Feb 29, 2020

    Good riddance to that pile. Too bad people are losing their jobs over it.

  • CoastieLenn So the Camaro is getting the axe, the Challenger is belly up, the Charger is also fading out of existence. Maaaaan Michigan better have a game plan on how to inject some soul back into the American carscape. The Mustang and Corvette can't do it on their own. Dark times we're living in, bro's. How long do you think it'll be before the US starts to backpedal on our EV mandates now that the EU has rolled back their ICE bans with synthetic fuel usage?
  • Duke Woolworth We have old school Chevrolet Bolts, only feasible to charge at home because they are so slow. Travel? Fly or rent luxury.
  • Styles I had a PHEV, and used to charge at home on a standard 3-pin plug (240v is standard here in NZ). As my vehicle is a company car I could claim the expense. Now we are between houses and living at the in-laws, and I'm driving a BEV, I'm charging either at work (we have a wall-box, and I'm the only one with an EV), or occasionally at Chargenet stations, again, paid by my employer.
  • Dwford 100% charge at home.
  • El scotto Another year the Nissan Rogue is safe.