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C-200 woes to whack workers’ wallets

by Bill Cawthon on

Slumping Chrysler 200 sales have put Sterling Heights Assembly Plant workers on an unwanted vacation for over a month. A recent extension of the shutdown is only the start of the bad news.


Even if work resumes in early April, workers will have been idled for nine weeks.  Hourly workers get profit-sharing checks based on the number of hours they work, so SHAP workers will get less than people at other FCA plants (Ford and GM uses the same formula).

Making matters worse, the grapevine says that this is just the start: the plant may have many more shutdowns during the year, given poor sales of its only product. Given a choice of losing money on leases and sales or cutting back production, Sergio Marchionne is following his own admonitions and slashing supply.

The lighter side is that, eventually, many expect the Jeep Cherokee to move in, providing enough work for everyone.

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, 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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