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Hundreds of new jobs could mean new life for Caravan

by Bill Cawthon on

The Dodge Grand Caravan, slated to end a three-decade production run in 2017, may get a new lease on life — in Canada, at least.

According to the Windsor Star, FCA Canada is looking to fill “hundreds” of production jobs at the Windsor Assembly Plant. FCA Canada’s job site is open for applications as the plant gears up to begin producing the next-generation Chrysler Town & Country, and a possible crossover based on it.

Dodge-Caravan-Canada

Last week, Lou Ann Gosselin, spokeswoman for Chrysler Canada, told the Star’s Grace Macaluso that employee referrals in their system have been exhausted, and the company is seeking new hires.

The Dodge Grand Caravan is reportedly to be dropped in the U.S., but its fate is less clear in Canada, where the lower-priced minivan far outsells the Town & Country, and every other competitor. According to Dodge, the Caravan has been Canada’s favorite minivan for more than 31 years. Some have speculated that Chrysler would take over the Caravan name for its base model minivans, reserving Town & Country for upper levels. Chrysler Canada has moved cars back and forth between Dodge and Chrysler before.Chrysler-WindsorAP-Web

FCA has spent a reported $2 billion upgrading the plant and developing the new minivan, and wants output to increase from the current 1,400 vehicles per day.

According to remarks FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne made last January, the Windsor plant will also build a full-size Chrysler crossover if the project is finally green-lighted.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.


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