Chrysler announces it will produce its next-generation minivan at its assembly plant in Windsor, ON, Canada.
The automaker also says it has withdrawn a request for financial aid from the Canadian federal and provincial governments and will fund whatever capital requirements are needed at its Windsor and Brampton, ON, facilities.
The Canadian government and Unifor union had been concerned Chrysler would opt to build the next-gen minivan in a different location due to high labor costs.
“It is clear to us that our projects are now being used as a political football, a process that, in our view, apart from being unnecessary and ill-advised, will ultimately not be to the benefit of Chrysler,” the auto maker says in a statement.
Chrysler has not announced whether the next-generation minivan will be the Dodge Grand Caravan or Chrysler Town & Country. One of the models is to be phased out.
In a news release, the automaker refers to the new product as the next “people carrier,” and says the architecture will be the basis for the next minivan and derivatives.
Chrysler says its capital allocation decisions will be monitored continuously to ensure the competitiveness of Canada as a global manufacturer. The evaluation will be important to the outcome of the collective-bargaining negotiations with Unifor to take place in 2016, the automaker says.
“We will do what we can to preserve and nurture the competitiveness of our operations, but we reserve the right, as is true for all global manufacturers, to reassess our position as conditions change,” CEO Sergio Marchionne says in a statement.
“As a Canadian, I regret my failure in having been unable to convey the highly competitive nature of markets that offer manufacturing opportunities to car makers that operate on a global scale.”