Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive officer of both Chrysler Group LLC and the merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced the US carmaker’s Windsor, Ontario minivan factory would be closed for 12 weeks in 2015.
The decision has been made to allow for the plant’s conversion to produce a new generation of the automaker’s minivan model – with the 12 weeks of upgrades to “bridge between the first and second quarter” of next year.
Marchionne also said the company is planning in detail the continued production of the outgoing generation before the retooling begins. Chrysler uses the plant to produce the company’s two minivan offerings – the Chrysler Town & Country and the Dodge Grand Caravan. The next generation minivan would become a Chrysler only model, as the Dodge version will be axed, but the name of the new vehicle has not been confirmed to carry on as the Town & Country.
Recently, Chrysler was reportedly asking the Canadian government for a state aid worth $700 million for the planned $3.6 billion investment plan in the factory, but the deal succumbed on divergent positions during negotiations.
The executive also reiterated the automaker’s commitment to have the merged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles shares trading on the New York Stock Exchange starting October 13, a day after the celebration of Italy’s Christopher Columbus historic landing in America.