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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Canada plant 14-week shutdown

Raise the Roof: FCA US Starts Construction on Windsor (Ont.) Assembly Plant

Initial project begins preparations for production of future model

600-ton crane to lift 200 pieces of steel, creating new conveyor enclosure

New enclosure will accommodate plant’s first skillet line, improving vehicle quality and worker ergonomics


December 26, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

FCA US LLC began exterior construction on its Windsor (Ont.) Assembly Plant on Dec. 26, 2014, using a 600-ton crane to start installing 200 pieces of structural steel to create a new conveyor enclosure on the plant’s roof.



Measuring just over 20 feet tall, the conveyor enclosure will house the plant’s new skillet line, a global standard for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles facilities. The skillet moves the vehicle along the line, adjusting its height to the desired level for workers, improving vehicle quality with a better line of sight. The skillet also provides optimal ergonomic positioning, which allows workers to function in the Golden Zone, a 60-degree window in front of the operator that is ideal to present parts.

The conveyor enclosure and skillet line are among many improvements planned for the Windsor plant in preparation for production of a future model. Additional projects will be completed during 14 weeks of downtime beginning in February.

Currently occupying 4.4 million square feet of floor space, the Windsor Assembly Plant employs 4,600 employees across three shifts to produce the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country, Ram Cargo Van, and Lancia Grand Voyager. The facility was built in 1928 with production of its signature minivans beginning in 1983. Chrysler Group celebrated 30 years of minivan leadership in 2013 with more than 13 million vehicles sold.

In March 2014, Windsor received a Silver designation in World Class Manufacturing after demonstrating clear know-how and competence in the manufacturing methodology, becoming the first FCA North America facility to be so recognized. Its first award level, Bronze, was received in April 2012. World Class Manufacturing is a methodology that focuses on reducing waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. WCM engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants.


About FCA US LLC
FCA US LLC is a North American automaker with a new name and a long history. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA US designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles under the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT brands as well as the SRT performance vehicle designation. The company also distributes the Alfa Romeo 4C model and Mopar products. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler, the innovative American automaker first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925; and Fiat, founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli.

FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU" and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2014, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Windsor Assembly likely to get $1.5 billion makeover, says union

12/30/2014



Chrysler has not publicly disclosed the size of its investment in the launch of the next generation minivan, but union officials said Monday it would likely exceed $1 billion.

“Any major product change — from research and development, engineering to launching and bringing it to the consumer — would usually cost around $1.5 billion,” said Dino Chiodo, president of Unifor Local 444, which represents about 4,500 hourly workers at the Windsor Assembly Plant.

“When you’re doing a major overhaul, you’re talking big dollars.”

The plant is slated to begin a 14-week shutdown that would start in mid-February and last until the end of May, said Chiodo.

On Friday, the carmaker, which recently changed its name to FCA US, issued a news release, detailing that start of construction at



Continued HERE

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Assembly plant retooling ‘significant

Assembly plant retooling ‘significant,’ says Chrysler Canada CEO


01/08/2015

Chrysler Canada CEO Reid Bigland said Thursday the Windsor Assembly Plant will be undergo “significant” retooling in preparation for the next generation minivan.

“A lot of that change is just making modifications to the plant to get ready for the next generation minivan,” Bigland told reporters at the company’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. “The plant will shut down for the better part of 90 days as we do some significant work to the plant.”

Quote:
The plant is slated to shut down Feb. 15, but Bigland refused to elaborate when asked whether Windsor Assembly could expect to get an overhaul similar to the $1-billion makeover to the automaker’s plant in Sterling Heights, Mich.

“Obviously by having the plant down, a plant that builds 1,400 units a day, it’s pretty significant to be down that long,” he said.

Late last month, the automaker announced it was using a 545*-ton crane to install 200 pieces of structural steel to create a new conveyor enclosure on the plant’s roof.

The enclosure will house the plant’s new skillet line, which moves the vehicle along the assembly line, adjusting its height to the desired level for workers, improving vehicle quality with a better line of sight, Chrysler said in a statement. The skillet also provides optimal ergonomic positioning, and is among “additional projects” that will be completed during the 14-week period.

Union officials have said the lengthy shutdown suggests the automaker is making an investment in the $1 billion to $1.5 billion range and goes beyond simply gearing up for the next generation minivan.

“Certainly what they’re doing has all the makings of a very significant — to use Reid’s words — investment,” said Tony Faria, co-director of the Office of Automotive Research at the University of Windsor. “They did not shut down for this period of time in advance for the current generation minivan.”

Union officials are hoping that the plant will be equipped a flexible, global platform capable of building a variety of vehicles, including a full-size Chrysler crossover that the company is planning to launch in 2017.

“It would be nice if someone from Chrysler would indicate whether the plant is going to get that new crossover,” said Faria. “It would seem that they are with the amount of retooling at the plant. It strikes me as a lot in the way of investment and retooling that would be necessary just for the next generation minivan.”

All the company will disclose publicly is the Windsor Assembly Plant will build the next generation minivan and a plug-in hybrid version, starting in 2016.

Bigland said he was confident the plant will supply enough minivans to meet demand during the shutdown. “I think we’ve got a pretty good supply of minivans, but it’s going to be tight,” he said. “But I think we can get through the 90 days and when we start up lickety split, away we go. But we’re over 100 days of inventory on both the Grand Caravan as well as the Town and Country in the U.S.

“We’re continuing to build vans full blast out of the plant, three shifts, 24 hours a day,” he added.

When the plant re-opens it will continue to build the current models of the Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, said Bigland.

Production of the all-new Chrysler model will begin in the first quarter of next year, he said.

Bigland said the company would not have to resort to reducing incentives to maintain a healthy supply during the shutdown.

“We’re going to continue to be competitive in the marketplace with respect to minivans just as we’ve had for the last 30 years,” he said. “We’ve been the No. 1 seller of minivans from a sales perspective in the U.S. and Canada. I’m not looking to give that up during the shutdown.”


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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600 Electricians Needed

600 electricians needed to retool Chrysler's Windsor plant
Workers to make $58/hr, including benefits




01/09/2015

Chrysler is searching for hundreds of electricians to help retool its Windsor Assembly Plant, where the company's next generation minivan will be produced.

Union members say Chrysler is searching for up to 600 electricians for three months of work, which includes demolition of old conveyors and paint systems and the re-installation of the systems, electrical panels, cables, wires and more.

Hiring is underway, some work has started and the project will wrap up in May.

Electricians will work 10-hour days, seven days a week. There will be two shifts working each day.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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1,000-plus skilled trades needed

1,000-plus skilled trades needed for Chrysler plant retooling: Union


01/12/2015

More than 1,000 skilled trades workers will transform the Windsor Assembly Plant into an Alberta oilsands-like job site during a 14-week shutdown that starts in mid-February, union officials said Friday.

Quote:
“I’ve worked at Chrysler shutdowns in the past,” said Karl Lovett, business manager at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. “This is bigger than any project I’ve ever worked on at Chrysler in 20 years.”

Lovett estimated that more than 500 electricians will be needed to retool the plant for the next generation minivan, which is expected to begin full production in the first quarter of 2016.

“There will also be 400 millwrights on the job, plumbers, carpenters, sheet metal workers, painters,” said Lovett. “That would be the bulk of people in there.”

The automaker has, so far, refused to publicly disclose the size of its investment at the plant, but Chrysler Canada CEO Reid Bigland said Thursday the retooling was “significant.”

Unifor Local 444 president Dino Chiodo has said a major retooling would cost in the $1 billion to $1.5 billion range. Last month, the automaker announced it was using a 600-tonne crane to begin installation of 200 pieces of structural steel which will form a new conveyor enclosure on the plant’s roof.

The new enclosure will accommodate the plant’s first skillet line that moves the vehicles along the line, adjusting the height to the desired level for workers.

Gary Hutcheson, corporate sales manager at W.S. Nicholls Construction Inc., in Cambridge, said his company will be involved in construction related to mechanical and electrical installations. “We are employing trades from the Windsor area — everything from pipefitters, iron workers, millwrights and electricians, ” said Hutcheson.

“Windsor sure needs this; these are good jobs,” he said. “We’ve worked with Chrysler before. This shows their commitment to Ontario and specifically to Windsor.”

John Salvatore, president of Mid South Contractors Ltd., in Windsor, said his company, alone, will need about 300 electricians for the 14-week retooling. “We’re .......


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-09-2015, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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Chrysler readies Canada plant for 14-week shutdown

Fiat Chrysler readies Canada plant for 14-week shutdown

A $2 billion investment by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV into the development and production of its next-generation minivan will mean the largest retooling for the Windsor Assembly Plant since the early 1980s.

The investment includes more than 860 new robots, 800 feet of flexible production lines and retooling of about 80 percent of its general assembly area.

Quote:
“This rivals one of the largest changeovers that Windsor has experienced,” said Jon Desjardins, Windsor Assembly general assembly center manager, during a media event Monday at the 4.4 million-square-foot plant.

The significant retooling also means temporarily layoffs for most of the plant’s more than 4,570 hourly workers during a 14-week shutdown period that starts Saturday and continues through late May. Workers will get paid a percentage of their wages.

Several hundred skilled-trades workers are expected to continue working with contractors through the shutdown period, officials said.

Exterior construction at the plant started late last year using a 600-ton crane to start installing 200 pieces of structural steel to create a new conveyor enclosure on the plant’s roof.

Little is known about the next-generation Chrysler-branded minivan, which will replace the brand’s current Chrysler Town & Country as well as the Dodge Grand Caravan.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, during a news conference at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, said the next-generation minivan will likely incorporate the name Town & Country, at least as a trim level. He said the next-generation minivan is anticipated to be unveiled at the 2016 Detroit auto show.

Michael Brieda, Windsor Assembly plant manager, said production of pilot vehicles of the next-generation minivan are expected to begin in mid-2015. The plant will continue to produce the current minivans into 2016, he said.

“The company will build as many as we can, as long as it’s viable,” he said about production of current models.

Brieda said the plant has been running 24 hours, six days a week since mid-2014 in an attempt to keep supply of the minivans up during the shutdown period. The plant produces 1,490 minivans a day.

It takes 26 hours for one car to run through the entire plant. Fiat Chrysler would not comment on if that time will change with production of the next-generation minivan.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-10-2015, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Sneak peek: Fiat Chrysler assembly plant in Ontario

02/10/2015

Sneak peek: Fiat Chrysler assembly plant in Ontario

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-17-2015, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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4,000 Chrysler employees are beginning a three-month layoff

02/17/2015

Retooling work at the Chrysler Windsor Assembly Plant is putting hundreds of part supply workers on temporary layoff.

Around 4,000 Chrysler employees are beginning a three-month layoff because of the retooling at the factory. Hundreds more who work in factories that supply parts for Chrysler are off the job as well.

Unifor Local 195, who represents part suppliers across Windsor, said about 1,000 workers will be affected by the shutdown.

"They're not going to get their unemployment checks immediately. The goal for Service Canada is to have people's checks within 28 days, so that's a month where they will not have an income coming in and they'll be forced to live off their savings," John Toth, vice president of Unifor 195 said.

Toth said most workers at the Chrysler plant will receive both employment insurance and a supplementary unemployment benefit top off.

But supply part workers only qualify for employment insurance and will qualify for a weekly check of $524 — less than half of their typical wages.

"I'm sure there will be a number of people who will be in a financial pinch as a result of this," Toth said.

An information session will be held Tuesday morning offering financial advice for workers.

The retooling is expected to be completed in May.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-04-2015, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Windsor Assembly Ensures Minivans Will be Plentiful

March 03 2015



Windsor Assembly ensures minivans will be plentiful



Employees install windows and insulation on the door line at our Windsor, Ont., Assembly Plant.

Minivan lovers, fear not.

While our Windsor Assembly Plant is down for 14 weeks to implement improvements and reconfigure the assembly process to start production of the next generation minivan, people might wonder if there’ll be enough minivans to buy?

The clear answer is yes.

“Through the planning we did and the extra work put in by the men and women at Windsor Assembly, I am confident we will have enough minivans to meet demand during the shutdown,” said FCA Canada CEO and Head of U.S. Sales Reid Bigland. “Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan led the minivan segment in 2014, selling more than a quarter million units combined. We’re not about to give up that leadership.”

Since mid-2014, the men and women at Windsor Assembly have been working 24/7, ramping up production of the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan and Ram Cargo Vans in order to meet demand.

For 2014, Windsor made 374,817 minivans, which is 47,490 vehicles or about 15% more than it made in 2013. During the ramp up in production, the plant made minivans in a wide range of popular configurations so that when you go into your dealer, you should have no issue with getting the features and options you want.

Once production starts up on May 25, the men and women in Windsor will resume making the world’s most popular minivans.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Chrysler plant catches fire overnight

Chrysler plant catches fire overnight
Fire burned for more than an hour in the ductwork


Mar 06, 2015


The Chrysler minivan plant in Windsor caught fire overnight in the ductwork.

Windsor Fire said it was a result of ductwork being cut.

It's the second time the plant has seen a fire since the factory shut down for refurbishment in February.

Windsor Fire said the incident happened around 1:30 a.m and the fire was out by 2:48 a.m.

There's no damage estimate yet.

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