Third Shift Extension Not Unexpected: Auto Journalist

AM800-News-Windsor Assembly Plant-FCA-Minivan-2

An automotive journalist based in Detroit isn't surprised Fiat Chrysler has extended the third shift at the Windsor Assembly Plant.

Unifor first made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the shift is now extended to the end of the year.

It means the 1500 jobs on that shift and all the necessary jobs at feeder plants can continue.

Motor Trend Detroit Editor Alissa Priddle says the sales have been better than the company had anticipated.

"I was not surprised at all, to be honest." says Priddle "We all know minivan sales have been on a decline but there aren't many players anymore.  Chrysler is a leader in the field and they're still making new Pacificas as well as the old Caravan."

Priddle can't predict when the third shift may come to an end.

"I don't know that it will be permanent,but I can see it continue to be extended and they might get more big fleet orders. "explains Priddle "Because when they added this new Voyageur, which is a less expensive version of Pacifica, they added a new trim specifically for fleets, which says to me they're actively going out looking for that business."

She tells AM800 News the older model made at the plant continues to sell.

"There is no end date yet to get rid of that Grand Caravan." says Priddle "So as long as people are still buying that as well, as long as there's capacity in that plant to keep making them, there's no reason to stop doing so or to let those people go."

Priddle says expectations a new crossover vehicle would go to the Windsor Assembly Plant have not happened, so the capacity isn't needed.