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Did the 2006 promised upgrades ever get started?

I remember that a billion was promised to upgrade both plants for new products.

Money spent to replace St. Louis Plants.

Sterling Heights Assembly- 2.5 billion roughly to convert into a truck plant

Saltillo Van Plant- 1.3 billion to build a new plant.

So almost 4 billion was spent to replace two perfectly good plants.

Good lord what a cluster.
 

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Did the 2006 promised upgrades ever get started?

I remember that a billion was promised to upgrade both plants for new products.

Money spent to replace St. Louis Plants.

Sterling Heights Assembly- 2.5 billion roughly to convert into a truck plant

Saltillo Van Plant- 1.3 billion to build a new plant.

So almost 4 billion was spent to replace two perfectly good plants.

Good lord what a cluster.
Don't forget, Sterling Heights was redone twice. First to go from the Daimler Chrysler 200 to the FCA Chrysler 200 (not as expensive). Then billions to go from the FCA Chrysler 200 to Ram.
 

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So almost 4 billion was spent to replace two perfectly good plants.
At the risk of having rotten tomatoes thrown at me, St. Louis had four issues:
1) It was relatively far away—the furthest plants from Detroit if you don't count Mexico. That added cost for transporting parts and engines and such. Sterling Heights was right next to Warren, handy if both are making similar products.
2) They would probably have had to spend as much to renovate those plants as the others, to keep them going.
3) The products they made were not selling well enough to justify two plants at the time they were shut down. Minivans have not even been enough to keep one plant open on two shifts without frequent stops. Trucks, you're right, but at the time sales were down and Warren and Saltillo were enough. The advantage of Warren was it's incredibly close to Detroit, the engine plants, Sterling Stamping, etc. Windsor was the first minivan plant, half of all Chrysler presence in Canada—which is more Chrysler loyal than the US—and one of the company's highest quality plants, the last time I was able to look.
4) I have been told, unofficially and unable to verify, that they had quality issues at both plants. Certainly Windsor was known, for the entire time both plants made minivans, as the far superior plant in quality; even Consumer Reports told customers to buy from Canada. I know less about the trucks, but there were apparently issues.
5) (bonus) Sterling Heights was a much newer plant, which presumably had some advantages.

I was not happy to see St. Louis fall. I think I may have been sadder to see Windsor fall; if I'm not getting my Ontario plants mixed up, it was there before Chrysler itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
At the risk of having rotten tomatoes thrown at me, St. Louis had four issues:
1) It was relatively far away—the furthest plants from Detroit if you don't count Mexico. That added cost for transporting parts and engines and such. Sterling Heights was right next to Warren, handy if both are making similar products.
2) They would probably have had to spend as much to renovate those plants as the others, to keep them going.
3) The products they made were not selling well enough to justify two plants at the time they were shut down. Minivans have not even been enough to keep one plant open on two shifts without frequent stops. Trucks, you're right, but at the time sales were down and Warren and Saltillo were enough. The advantage of Warren was it's incredibly close to Detroit, the engine plants, Sterling Stamping, etc. Windsor was the first minivan plant, half of all Chrysler presence in Canada—which is more Chrysler loyal than the US—and one of the company's highest quality plants, the last time I was able to look.
4) I have been told, unofficially and unable to verify, that they had quality issues at both plants. Certainly Windsor was known, for the entire time both plants made minivans, as the far superior plant in quality; even Consumer Reports told customers to buy from Canada. I know less about the trucks, but there were apparently issues.
5) (bonus) Sterling Heights was a much newer plant, which presumably had some advantages.

I was not happy to see St. Louis fall. I think I may have been sadder to see Windsor fall; if I'm not getting my Ontario plants mixed up, it was there before Chrysler itself.
Could have put both in mothballs and then activate as sales increased and new products came online.

I owed a 03 Grand Caravan STL build. Was a tank which lasted into the 300k's.

I personally think that closing the STL plants was a short term gain and long term loss.
 

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You are certainly right about the mothballs, but that is very expensive, and in the past when they've done it with some urban plants they had massive costs. People still get in and vandalize, and there's all sorts of toxic waste. They'd have had to clean it up to mothball it properly. I don't think they wanted to spen dthe money.

I'm not arguing that you're wrong, but I think there were rational reasons behind their actions. 20 years later, with the Grand Cherokee L requiring a Mack rebuild, you could argue maybe they could have used the St. Louis Truck plant; but again there are the same issues with age (newer buildings are more energy efficient to the point that it's real money), distance (including that all the Grand Cherokee production experts were next door at Jefferson Avenue), and publicity around "the first new Detroit plant."
 

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Which plants are able to get incentives? Makes a real difference in expansion/remodeling and reopening.
That's also a big factor. St Louis might not have been willing to spend the money - they have a more diversified economy
 

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Could have put both in mothballs and then activate as sales increased and new products came online.

I owed a 03 Grand Caravan STL build. Was a tank which lasted into the 300k's.

I personally think that closing the STL plants was a short term gain and long term loss.
They mothballed one of the St. Louis plants for a time back in the 80s I believe. One was built to replace the Evansville plant from years ago. The second one came later. When I bought one of my new Rams, I was told at the time to make sure it wasn't built at St. Louis. Since it was a Quad Cab, Warren wasn't making those at that time so it came from Saltillo. The quality of that truck was excellent. But, I've not had a truck from there, so I can't say for sure. I had a new minivan from St Louis and it was fine.
 

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