Back in March, we told you about Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) decision to end the third-shift at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Windsor, Ontario. The Windsor Assembly Plant is the current home for the production of the award-winning Chrysler Pacifica and highly successful Dodge Grand Caravan. This decision was brought on by a slow sales record on the Chrysler Pacifica. Well, there is some slightly positive news coming from the Unifor the Canadian Auto Workers union.
FCA has made the decision to push the layoff back three weeks according to the Automotive News Canada, from its original date of from September 30th to October 21st. The decision was made due to allow the Windsor Assembly Plant to fulfill a large order of minivans from its customers. After the order is completed, the plant will return to a two-shift operation.
Union leaders are looking at the expanded timeline as more time to work a deal out with FCA to save the 1,500 jobs at the plant.
Last week, at the company’s “What’s New” event at the Chelsea Proving Grounds, FCA announced that it would be cutting the Pacifica L and LX models from the Pacifica lineup and bringing back the historic Voyager nameplate to represent those trims as its own value-based model. The 2020 Chrysler Voyager will consist of three trim-levels (one being exclusively for fleets) and will be a more budget-friendly option to the premium Pacifica minivan.
Currently, the 12-year-old Dodge Grand Caravan which was originally scheduled for its demise in 2015, continues to lead the minivan segment sales thanks to its budget-friendly offerings. So much so, that the Dodge Grand Caravan outsold the Pacifica in May by twice the sales volume for the United States and five times the volume in Canada. The Grand Caravan also continues to be the sales leader for the Dodge brand.
Well, FCA has yet to officially announce if the new budget-friend Voyager will ultimately replace the Grand Caravan, the company is looking at options to boost Pacifica’s market-share. Rumors have been floating around for some time, that Chrysler will debut an all-wheel-drive version of the Pacifica within the next year. However, the company has yet to release any details about such a vehicle.
We can only hope that FCA and the union can work some deal out before the extended timeline has elapsed.