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The Windsor assembly plant, which makes all of Chrysler’s minivans, is now on half-shifts. This week, all three shifts are four hours long. While orders are strong, with nearly a month of backlog, a shortage of 3.6 liter engines is holding back production. The engines are in hot demand for Rams, Journeys, Grand Cherokees, and large and mid-sized cars as well as the minivans. Trenton Engine is reportedly also working on building up a supply of 3.2 liter engines for the Jeep Cherokee. While there are two V6 engine plants now, the original plans called for three, and the shortfall has been felt for some time. Chrysler is working to build up capacity, but it will be some time before the company has sufficient supplies.

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Windsor takes the hit again. The plant already had a month off at Christmas (Dec.21-Jan21). There have been cancelled shifts and short shifts this year so far. It appears the minivan is no longer very important to Fiat/Chrysler.
 

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erhemi said:
Windsor takes the hit again. The plant already had a month off at Christmas (Dec.21-Jan21). There have been cancelled shifts and short shifts this year so far. It appears the minivan is no longer very important to Fiat/Chrysler.
Could just mean that in deciding which plant takes the hit:
a) based on lowest profitable units
b.) based on what models are filled in the pipeline the most

Obviously, JeffNorth isn't going to get the short stick, GrCks are one of the most profitable units. Same with Brampton. I'm not sure what pipeline #'s are, but seems like dealers are stocked fairly well on minivans.
 

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That 9-spd and refresh cannot happen quick enough
 

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I expect to see a short-term push on the alternative engines in those vehicles that offer them (ie; free HEMI upgrade in Ram pickups and L* cars, more incentives on 200s, Avengers, and Journeys with 2.4L engines, etc.)
 

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Dan Minick said:
Not sure how that is going to help. It's a resource capacity issue. Increased demand on minivans only makes the problem worse.
That's correct, transmissions need to be placed behind engines and engines are the issue.
All of the eggs are in the Pentastar basket. Relief is coming, just not quickly.
Duckie is retiring...again...that's a 1,000 engine per day shortfall.
I'm guessing the 3.2 is interchangeable with the 3.6, so slow KL sales could find engines for the minivan...and keep in mind, Sergio wants to kill one van anyway, that will certainly help engine production catch up with 100,000 fewer van sales..
 

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Have to agree with Norm on every point here.

Though the nine speeds would help Chrysler support their pricing, they'd need both the 9-speeds and the engines.

I think if the minivans were more competitive -- by which I mean "obviously so much better than Honda that they are the default choice" -- it would be another story and the 200/Avenger would be allowed to slow down. Which is hard for Chrysler with CAFE, I suspect, though slower 200/Avenger sales might help Dart... [head spinning]
 
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It's a shame Kenosha didn't get the third line like they were supposed to.
 

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It's not as though you couldn't see the engine shortage coming several years ago, and it was mentioned in some threads on Allpar, however this fits better with Suergen's plans for Chrysler. There's a saying in management about making a decision and making it the right decision. In other words, you manipulate the circumstances, so whatever decision you made looks like the right decision afterall. If Chrysler's bread and butter vehicle for many years, the mini-vans, experience a significant decline in sales Suergen will have all the ammo he needs to cut back to one mini-van brand. Chrysler put in a very good effort to keep the "Ram" 1/2 ton vehicles very competitive, the GC, and probably also the "LX" cars; too bad they didn't spend half as much effort on the mini-vans. But then, Suergen can't touch the Chrysler profits so there's little incentive for him to see Chrysler become too successfull.
 

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I've speculated before that they might do things to "help" one of the minivans sell significantly better than the other to justify the decision over which one dies in a few months/years. But I would expect most of the dealers have ample inventory on hand right now for both mini's and are in need of Grand Cherokee's due to the early build-out for '13 models. I don't think there is any mass anti-minivan conspiracy; just a shortage of engines and needing to make sure the GC launch goes flawlessly because it matters to Chrysler very much.
 

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DaveAdmin said:
Have to agree with Norm on every point here.
With a tear in my eye, I'm calling it a night... ;)
 

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Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said normal production will return on March 18. She said that the slowdown was intended "to align production with market demand."

Asked about the inventory levels, Tinson said that the action to slow production was because of demand and not because the company was having difficulty making enough 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engines.

"We also look at anticipated future demand and make adjustments accordingly. No sense running full speed now, then have a lot of vehicles sitting around a few months down the line," Tinson said. "We believe we have satisfactory inventory to meet current demand and, therefore, have decided to reduce hours in order to ensure a balance."

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130311/OEM01/130319991/chrysler-slows-minivan-production-at-canada-plant#ixzz2NKKxRS2j
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willy said:
It's not as though you couldn't see the engine shortage coming several years ago, and it was mentioned in some threads on Allpar, however this fits better with Suergen's plans for Chrysler. There's a saying in management about making a decision and making it the right decision. In other words, you manipulate the circumstances, so whatever decision you made looks like the right decision afterall. If Chrysler's bread and butter vehicle for many years, the mini-vans, experience a significant decline in sales Suergen will have all the ammo he needs to cut back to one mini-van brand. Chrysler put in a very good effort to keep the "Ram" 1/2 ton vehicles very competitive, the GC, and probably also the "LX" cars; too bad they didn't spend half as much effort on the mini-vans. But then, Suergen can't touch the Chrysler profits so there's little incentive for him to see Chrysler become too successfull.
:huh:

"Suergen?" Really?
 

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I am taking Jodi Tinson's statement with a grain of salt.

43 days' supply is not normally justification for slowing down a plant, especially when it has 26 days of orders.

Take a look at Chrysler inventories by model. They don't even slow down when they hit 60 days... UNLESS this is to be coupled with a cutback on incentives which they figure will slow demand to match the reduced output.

We ran a story one week earlier on how the minivan plant is to be slowed down a bit over the next year. I'm just surprised they're keeping three shifts, but I guess cutting a full shift would be too much.

The other surprise for me is that the 200 and Avenger are still getting so many Pentastar engines. I can't imagine they have a higher profit than minivans, but ... well, maybe they do. I think T&C is a high profit item but I'm not sure about Caravan.
 
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