Japan impact: Chrysler to idle 3 plants earlier image

Chrysler is moving its normal summer shutdowns at three factories into June from the usual July closings because of parts shortages from the earthquake in Japan.

Chrysler will also cancel overtime at its Saltillo assembly plant in Mexico for four days in May and June.
The Warren Truck and Toledo North assembly plants will be closed during the weeks of June 20 and June 27, instead of the weeks of July 11 and July 18.

By moving the shutdown weeks forward, Chrysler gives parts suppliers more time to get the plants back on line or come up with other alternatives to make the parts, said Chrysler Group LLC spokeswoman Jodi Tinson.

“There was some risk that toward the end of May or in June that we could experience production disruptions,” she said. “This is a way to mitigate that and help our suppliers.”

At the end of April, Chrysler had a 54-day supply of Nitros, 65 days of the Liberty, 109 days of Wrangler, 46 days of the Dakota, and 123 days’ supply of the Ram, according to Ward’s AutoInfoBank. Automakers say a 60-day supply is optimal.
Chrysler and other automakers have had to stop taking orders for certain paint colors because a specialized pigment produced in Japan is not available.