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Minivans being distributed, but supply to halt

by David Zatz on

minivan side

Customers waiting for one of the hot 2011 Chrysler minivans – Town & Country or Caravan – have good news and bad news. The good news is that Chrysler has recovered 700 minivans held by Allied Systems, a car hauler, which demanded a large, sudden increase in its fees, and held the vehicles hostage until ordered to turn them over by Canadian courts. Former employees of Allied reported that Chrysler had already signed a new contract with another unionized hauler, and that they were being hired by Allied’s competitor to get cars moving again.

While already-built minivans are being transported to their customers, production is reportedly being halted for a week due to a shortage of Pentastar V6 engines. The sole powerplant for Chrysler minivans and the Volkswagen Routan, these engines are also used in the Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Dodge Durango, but those cars have other power options. Pentastar production has been stopped due to a shortage of parts (reportedly camshafts) from a supplier in Mexico. Various options are apparently being considered by Chrysler, which might be able to reprogram and adapt unused production equipment from an abandoned engine line; Chrysler has also reportedly dispatched experts to the supplier to help with production.

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