Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced plans to layoff about 1,500 unionized employees from the company’s assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario. The information comes as FCA has announced that the layoffs are part of the company’s plan to phase out it’s aging, but still popular Dodge Grand Caravan minivan.
FCA notified the Canadian labor union (Unifor) of its plans to cut the third shift at the Windsor Assembly Plant on Thursday. According to labor officials, the third shift will stay in place until June 29. FCA will phase out the Dodge Grand Caravan at the end of May.
“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,” an official FCA statement said.
The remaining 4,500 workers at the Windsor Assembly Plant will remain after the cuts as the plant will continue to build the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, and Chrysler Voyager (which we are told will be introduced into the Canadian market, once the Dodge Grand Caravan production comes to an end).
Recently, the Chrysler brand relaunched the once-popular Voyager nameplate on a new entry-level minivan. The Chrysler Voyager takes over where the more budget-friendly Pacifica models left-off. The Chrysler Voyager will join a new updated Chrysler Pacifica for the 2021 model year, which gets new looks, an all-wheel-drive powertrain option, and even more premium touches. The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will distance itself from the Voyager, which will continue wearing the current Pacifica looks and offering more of a checkbook friendly alternative in the minivan segment – like the Dodge Grand Caravan.
The Chrysler Voyager has a huge hole to fill, as the Dodge Grand Caravan it ultimately replaces was the best-selling minivan not only in the United States but Canada as well in 2019. The Dodge Grand Caravan also continues to be the best-selling Dodge vehicle, despite the Dodge brand being more focused on the performance vehicle market.