Chrysler faces more engine shortages
Company will implement "shift smoothing" at Windsor Assembly Plant
Oct 21, 2011
Parts shortages continue to slow production of minivans at Chrysler's Windsor Assembly Plant.
A lack of Pentastar engines, again, has slowed production. Management will institute "shift smoothing" to deal with the problem during the next month.
The plant will not shut down entirely but the company has cancelled the midnight shift next week.
Between now and Nov. 20, each of the three shifts will take a week off. The day and afternoon shifts will take turns staying home later.
Rick Laporte, president of CAW Local 444, thought the problem with engine supplies would have been dealt with by now:
"The engine is supplied right across the chain to all the vehicles in the Chrysler lineup. They're picking and choosing, wherever the demand is for the particular vehicles, as to how many they build," Laporte said. "We're forced to deal with what we've got."
The Chrysler workers will get supplementary unemployment benefits while off the job. But Laporte says employees at supplier plants aren't as lucky. They, too, will be forced to take some time off during the shift smoothing.
"Those workers will file for unemployment insurance and if they don't get it they will get nothing," Laporte said.
The Windsor Assembly Plant employs about 5,000 people, working three shifts.
The Pentastar engines were created by Chrysler engineers to replace the V6 powerplants used by both Chrysler Group and Mercedes. By model-year 2013, it will be Chrysler’s sole V6.
The first Pentastar is the 3.6 liter V6 engine, pumping out 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque in the 2011 Dodge Challenger.
The forthcoming direct-injection 3-liter twin-turbo version is projected to hit 400 horsepower. We expect the 3.2 to be launched first.