FCA to idle minivan plant for a week ‘to align production with demand’


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it will idle its minivan plant in Ontario the week of Nov. 2 to “to align production with demand.”

The shutdown, announced Wednesday, comes shortly after a three-week shutdown that ran from Sept. 28 through Oct. 18.

About 4,500 members of Unifor Local 444 assemble the Chrysler Pacifica, Voyager and Grand Caravan at the Windsor Assembly Plant.

Unifor on Oct. 19 ratified a new three-year contract that includes up to C$1.58 billion ($1.2 billion) in planned investments in Canada, including up to C$1.5 billion to retool the Windsor plant to produce electric “and/or” plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Total Canadian minivan sales were down 31.4 percent to 49,725 units during the first three quarters of 2020. By model, Grand Caravan sales slipped 17.3 percent while Pacifica sales plunged 41.2 percent.

Total U.S. minivan sales during the same time frame declined 35.8 percent to 205,891 deliveries. Pacifica sales fell 8.5 percent while Grand Caravan sales nosedived 63.6 percent.

North American minivan sales have fallen so much recently that FCA eliminated the midnight shift at its Windsor plant earlier this year, a move that affected about 1,500 jobs.

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