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If you just ordered a new Chrysler minivan, you could be waiting some time before you get it. No, it’s not due to a production delay, but instead due to a dispute with their trucking company.
Allied Systems Holdings, the carrier company that is responsible for taking vehicles out of the Windsor factory is in dispute with Chrysler over proposed wage cuts, when Allied workers were asking for a wage increase.
General Motors (GM) is in a similar dispute with Allied, but it has other resources to cover up the slack. Chrysler for the moment is placing vehicles in lots around the city of Windsor to keep the flow of vehicles on the production line. Chrysler currently produces 1500 minivans per-day out of the Windsor factory.
While Allied serves other Chrysler facilities also, this Atlanta-based company mainly serves their Windsor facility. “Chrysler can only move so many cars and park so many cars before they have an issue,” said Rick Laporte, president of Canadian Auto Workers Union Local 444. “If it isn’t resolved within in a certain length of time, I would suggest there is a possibility there to shut the Windsor Assembly plant down.”
Chrysler spokeswoman Katie Hepler wrote in an e-mail; “Allied was one of our carriers, not our only carrier, so the work is being done by others. Vehicles continue to be shipped to dealers, and we do not anticipate any disruptions in production as a result of this change.”
GM while also affected, is resorting to its other carriers and is paying dealers $60 per vehicle if they go pick up vehicles from distribution centers.
Perhaps Chrysler should now also look to explore other options.
[Source: Automotive News]
Back in 2004 Oprah Winfrey gave away 276 Pontiac G6s to her audience members. And like all things Oprah touches, it turned to gold – gold for Pontiac and General Motors anyway. Popularity of the car shot up overnight and now Volkswagen is hoping for a repeat performance as Oprah will reportedly give away two Routan minivans on an upcoming show.
While a Volkswagen model, the Routan is actually a Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country underneath and is built in North America at Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario plant in Canada.
Routan sales haven’t been strong for Volkswagen as it struggles for market share in a segment that is seemingly past its prime and filled with strong and established competitors from Toyota and Honda – not to mention from Chrysler with its own version of the same vehicle.
In such a well-established vehicle segment, the Routan’s biggest problem seems to be awareness, but that will all change after millions of Americans hear Oprah say that word: Routan. Awareness for the Pontiac G6 reached 87 percent after the 2004 Oprah giveaway. The Pontiac G6 also because an immediate top search item on both Google and Yahoo. GM even said that unique visitors to the Pontiac website were six times the average in the weeks after that famous Oprah show.
Luckily for Volkswagen, meeting the surge in demand won’t be a problem as Chrysler jut announced it would not shutter its Windsor assembly plant, which had previously been on the chopping block.