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Seat supplier strike stops Challenger, Charger and 300 production

by Patrick Rall on

A labor dispute involving the company who manufactures the seats for the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 has forced the Brampton Assembly Plant to halt production. Brampton is the sole building location of those three rear-drive cars and without seats, the auto workers are unable to continue building cars.

Demon Seat

This past weekend, the 320 workers who assemble seats for the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 at the Lear plant in Ajax, Ontario went on strike. The Lear plant works with the Brampton Assembly Plant on a “just-in-time” supply stream basis, meaning that the seats arrive at the automotive plant a few hours before they are mounted in vehicles. The advantage of the just-in-time basis is that the automaker doesn’t need to worry about storing seats at the plant. The disadvantage – especially right now – is that when the seat supplier stops sending seats, the auto plant quickly runs out of seats.

When the plant runs out of seats, they can’t build cars, and that has led to a production stoppage of the Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 at the Brampton Assembly Plant. The Brampton workers reported for work as recently as Wednesday morning, but by the afternoon, the seats were gone and the line had come to a rest.

While a production stoppage of these three popular vehicles is an issue for the dealership network, buyers who are waiting for a car to be custom built at Brampton – including the folks who bought a new Dodge Challenger SRT Demon – are concerned about how long this stoppage could last. At first, our sources said that the strike could end as soon as Tuesday, but when workers rejected the latest tentative agreement between the union and Lear Corp, it was announced that the Ajax facility would be closed until a new labor contract was agreed upon.

Hellcat Seats

In other words, there is no indication that this strike will end soon and until it ends, production of the Challenger, Charger and 300 cannot start back up. This means that these vehicles could be in short supply at dealers and owners with cars on order will be waiting a bit longer than planned. With any luck, Lear will get their labor dispute settled and get back to producing seats for the modern Mopar muscle cars sooner than later.

Patrick Rall was raised a Mopar boy, spending years racing a Dodge Mirada while working his way through college. After spending a few years post-college in the tax accounting field, Patrick made the jump to the world of journalism and his work has been published in magazines and websites around the world.

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