According to the Windsor Star, Stellantis COO for North America, Mark Stewart will be in Windsor, Ontario tomorrow and is expected to make some major announcements about the future of the Windsor Assembly Plant. He is expected to be joined by Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier, Doug Ford.
On Friday, we discussed Stellantis’ decision to extend the Windsor Assembly Plant’s second shift. Stellantis announced last October, that it planned to cut the plant’s second shift in April, due to the ongoing global semiconductor shortage and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was revaluated in February, with the announcement that the company would extend the second shift until the end of June. But its newest decision has the second shift operating to at least the end of December.
In October, Stellantis and LG Energy Solutions (LGES) announced that the two companies entered into a memorandum of understanding to form a new joint venture to produce battery cells and modules for the North American market. In March, Stellantis and LGES unveiled details to invest more than $5 billion CAD ($4.1 billion USD) to establish operations, which include an all-new battery manufacturing plant located in Windsor. Plant construction activities are scheduled to begin later this year, with production operations planned to launch in Q1 of 2024.
The plant aims to have an annual production capacity in excess of 45-gigawatt hours (GWh) and will create an estimated 2,500 new jobs in Windsor and the surrounding areas. Each of the municipal, provincial, and federal levels of the Canadian government has agreed to fully support the successful operation of the joint venture company.
Many believe that tomorrow’s announcement will, in fact, be an official announcement about the future of electrified vehicles to be manufactured at the plant in 2024. This could include a future crossover based on the recent Chrysler Airflow Concept vehicles, internally codenamed (CA), which is due for production in 2024 as a 2025 model according to sources close to MoparInsiders.
During its 2020 Unifor-FCA Collective Bargaining Agreement, then Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) committed to installing a new multi-energy vehicle architecture, including Plug-In Hybrid Electric (PHEV) and Battery Electric (BEV) vehicle capability, and at least one new model on that architecture at its Windsor Assembly Plant. The investment was said to be worth up to $1.5 billion CAD (or about $1.16 billion USD). Stellantis has told the Unifor labor union, that it plans to return to a three-shift operating schedule, once electric vehicle production has started.
Chrysler will also start building its next-generation minivan on the STLA Large architecture, sometime before 2028. That vehicle is scheduled to be entirely battery-electric, as Chrysler has announced that it will become the first Chrysler Group brand to become 100% electric before the end of the decade.