We have learned a lot about Stellantis’ future production plans throughout North America, thanks to its new tentative agreements with both the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Unifor labor unions. Over the weekend and today, Unifor leadership has been speaking to its members about the tentative agreement. In that agreement, we have gained some important new details about the future of both the Windsor and Brampton Assembly Plants, as well as the Etobicoke Casting Plant. Let’s take a closer look at what the agreement states:
Windsor Assembly Plant –
The 4.4 million square foot facility in Windsor, Ontario, currently produces the four variants of Chrysler (RU) minivans. These vehicles include the Chrysler Pacifica / Pacifica Hybrid, Chrysler Voyager (U.S. fleet-only), and Chrysler Grand Caravan (Canada only).
The Windsor Assembly Plant, originally built in 1928, has a rich history of vehicle production. Prior to its conversion in 1982 for minivan manufacturing, the facility played a pivotal role in assembling a diverse range of vehicles. From 1925 to 1965, it produced an array of automobiles including Plymouth two- and four-door sedans, Dodge hardtops, DeSoto convertibles, Chrysler station wagons, and club coupes. Notable models such as the Plymouth Valiant were introduced in 1966 and produced until 1975. In 1981, the plant shifted focus to the production of Chrysler Cordoba and Dodge Charger SE models. Subsequently, the original Chrysler Pacifica made its debut in August 2002 and was in production until November 2007.
According to the Unifor agreement, investment related to Windsor will be around $1.89 billion CDN.
In addition to the continued production of the current Pacifica, including the PHEV, AWD, and ICE models, FCA Canada (Stellantis) is transforming the Windsor Assembly plant to install an all-new flexible STLA Large architecture (including Plug-in Hybrid Electric (PHEV) and Battery Electric (BEV) capability) and produce the next generation Dodge muscle cars on that architecture. The company’s intention is to add the necessary assembly tooling and equipment to manufacture electrified vehicles for future models.
The total impact of this investment and product plan is estimated at 4,700 secured or new jobs by 2025 with an expected return to a 3-shift operation.
The company will recognize Windsor Assembly Plant as the lead plant to produce Chrysler Pacifica and the next generation of Dodge muscle car volume during the term of this agreement.
Brampton Assembly Plant –
The 2.95 million square foot Brampton Assembly Plant will receive a $1.32 billion CDN investment, to retool and update the facility to build the next-generation Jeep® Compass on the new STLA Medium architecture. It was originally opened as the “Bramalea Assembly” under American Motors Corporation (AMC).
During that period, AMC operated another facility known as “Brampton Assembly,” situated at Airport Road/Williams Parkway in Brampton. This plant was active from 1961 to 1992 under the management of AMC, and later Chrysler, specializing in the assembly of AMC and Jeep vehicles. After the earlier facility ceased operations and was repurposed for warehousing in 1992, Chrysler designated the newly established Bramalea Assembly as the new Brampton Assembly.
Although it marks a return of Jeep production to the area, the next-generation Compass will be the first Jeep product to be built at the current plant.
Stellantis has committed to insourcing stamping and welding operations (a new tandem line) and strategic processes for electrification (battery build). There will be a new system in Body-In-White (BIW) or underbody, and paint (underbody sealing and topcoat) and refurbishing of existing systems.
The total impact of this investment and product plan is estimated at 2,370 secured or new jobs by 2026 with an expected return to a 3-shift operation. Stellantis will recognize Brampton Assembly Plant as the lead North American plant to produce next-generation Jeep Compass volume during the term of this agreement.
According to the agreement, a timeline has been produced for the Brampton plant:
- January 1, 2024 – Brampton Assembly Plant retool is scheduled to begin.
- Skilled trades are expected to be fully utilized throughout the retool.
- Q4 2025 – First shift forecasted to return to work.
- Q1 2026 – Second shift forecasted to return to work.
- Q3 2026 – Third shift forecasted to return to work.
- Throughout the retooling, members will receive training and gradually return to work.
Etobicoke Casting Plant –
The 284,000 square foot Etobicoke Casting Plant in Toronto will receive a $34 million CDN investment. Stellantis says it will commit to maximizing utilization of existing die-cast equipment and floor space. It also commits to continue stator and carrier production, transition out of dust covers, brackets, and shock towers. The agreement states that Stellantis will insource oil pans and front covers and transition for the first time into electrification with battery tray cast beams. The total impact of this investment and product plan is estimated at 275 secured or new jobs by 2026.
The facility was built in 1942 and purchased by Chrysler Corporation in 1964. Major expansions were implemented in 1965 and 1998.