• Feb 6, 2009
The Detroit Free Press is reporting the Chrysler LLC will close four of its assembly plants from February 9-13 due to "economic conditions". The four plants to be idled are in Brampton, Ontario; Sterling Heights, MI.; Belvidere, IL and Detroit. The Brampton plant builds the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger, while Sterling Heights Assembly handles the Dodge Avenger and Chrysler Sebring. The plant in Belvidere builds the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Patriot, and the Detroit plant builds just the Viper. These four, along with the rest of Chrysler's assembly plants, were also idled from December 19th through January 19th during an extended shut down period over the holiday break. Apparently they weren't shut down long enough, as falling sales as rising inventory are still hurting the company. Last month, Chrysler LLC sales were down 54.8% by volume compared to January 2008. More temporary plant closings would not be surprising, as Chrysler reportedly reviews its production schedule on a weekly basis.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]


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  • 28 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler is a victim of not being able to compete successfully for market share. They do have strong products that will survive. Jeeps are popular world wide and they make work trucks with an extremely loyal following in the west. Unfortunately their auto division appears to be dead but just hasn't fallen over yet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      One thing that needs to be done is for the production system of the G2.8 be converted from "push" to "pull". Let the production numbers reflect the number of dealer orders and (realistic) order forecasts, (The way the Japanese do), instead of building kilotons of spec cars that have to be pushed to the dealerships.

      The problem is not that they don't produce cars people want, they just build too darn many of them (generating poor profit margins and even poorer resale prices).

      The most recent example I can find is the Dodge Challenger: Nice car, good performance etc. but high insurance, high fuel bills and limited utility make it a relative slow seller. Why did Chrysler build megatons of them? Hundreds if not thousands of them are gathering dust (and snow) in fields near the Brampton plant.

      Another one of the problems is that they lost their market little by little, the Import Brands took over, filling the voids left by them: Well built economy cars, reliable sedans, etc...

      The sooner they get back on track and restart building what people want in numbers the market can support, the better for them.

        • 5 Years Ago
        It seems that even Toyota has a problem of building "too darn many" cars as Autoblog has pointed out in a recent post. The imported cars are piling up on docks and ships in the harbor.
      • 5 Years Ago
      OUT OF WORK YET? - KEEP BUYING FOREIGN PRODUCTS
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not trying to be mean to the people that have jobs there, but I wish they would just keep it closed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "They make bad products that only a *small percentage* of people want."

        2 million worldwide last year and 1,453,122 in the US. And that's in a BAD year.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well Oz

        You can sit there and generalize me all you want, however you have seemed to turn a blind eye to the large history of faulty transmissions they had since the release of the first Caravan/Voyager, head gasket troubles on quite a few v6 engines, oil burning at early mileage, very poor customer quality service, dangerous rear latch issues, dangerous steering issues found in the cars sharing the same platform as the Dodge Intrepid gen 1 and gen 2, not paying attention to the end users who are loyal to Chrysler, a long list of reliability issues that even Consumer Reports and other car magazines have pointed out. Even if you were lucky to escape some of the reliability issues their non turbo engines for their cars alone were very weak and were not very competitive, not only to the imports, but also GM and Ford.....etc There is a huge list that goes on. I don't need to even look this stuff up as I have seen from many unsatisfied owners who were once loyal to Chrysler telling me their issues, and even having myself fallen victim to some of these issues. This is all before Daimler came into the picture.

        Since you choose to turn a blind eye you may need to get the ENTIRE story from more than just some random car nut or a biased blog before you jump on forums like these, claiming that you know everything and name calling when you seriously don't have a clue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The sooner we realize that Chrysler is not only financially bankrupt but creatively bankrupt and should be go through Chapter 7 (liquidation) the better we all will be.

        Nobody really believes they are going to be in business in 6 months. Let's just put the patient to sleep.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Steve

        Look at it this way. Let's say I own an American founded company for 30 years that sells high quality consumer and commercial televisions and video recording devices. People start to notice the product that my company makes has been slipping and falling through the cracks over the past few years to to the point of being marginal or sub-par to the competition such as Toshiba, Sony, Philips, Hitachi...etc. While this is happening I and other CEO's of my company decide to go out and party and hang out at Vegas while the end product that my company is producing keeps getting worse. Some coworkers make their attempts at suggestions and may even have some really good advice but I and the other CEO's think that nothing is wrong with our product and the coworkers are just being ridiculous.
        Next I and the other CEO's and other various upper management see our sales figures and our cash pool becoming beyond abysmal, meanwhile better and newer TV technology is being introduced by the competition. With the abysmal sales my company has been turning, the company can no longer afford to stay competitive. I then have to announce that 3 or 4 divisions of my company have to be shut down to save on costs.

        Now here comes the big question for you, who I assume is a budget conscious shopper.

        1)Would you continue to buy my products, knowing that there is better technology offered by the competition, just in the name of patriotism?

        2) Would you buy my products, again knowing that there is better technology offered by the competition, just so that one of the assembly line people who works at my company can eat, have a paycheck, and stay in their home for another few months?

        3) Would you buy my product because you know that my company is in a rough spot but you strongly believe that i will make the company spring back to life and be more competitive than ever.

        4) Would you buy the better product that gives you the most to offer for your hard earned money?

        As you can probably guess there aren't many people who can choose choice 1, 2, or 3 for Chrysler. It's a sad thing that the hard working families who work at Chrysler have to go through this stress and hard times, however at the same time people deserve to buy the best that they can get for their hard earned money without having to be bullied into feeling guilty that a company that someone is working for is crumbling and is having a hard time making ends meet. Unfortunately that's just how the business world works and it is, as they say, a "dog eat dog world"

        Luckily I don't own that TV and video recording device company that I have described, however I am an international business owner so I know it's not easy, especially for the faint of heart. Thankfully my business is going well, mostly because I learn to keep an open mind about things that need to change within my company in order to stay competitive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Stumpy

        How would you like to have 1,453,122 customers to plunk $20,000 or so on your lap? Sure, that's down from 2,076,650 customers last year, but everybody is hurting now. Even Toyota posted a $5 billion loss today.

        2008 Vehicle Sales
        1. GM.........2,980,688
        2. Toyota....2,217,662
        3. Ford........1,988,376
        4. Chrysler..1,453,122
        5. Honda......1,428,765
        6. Nissan........951,350

        ...and you don't want to know how poorly the rest of them did? Maybe BMW, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, VW, Suzuki, Suburu, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Acura, MINI, and Volvo should all just pack up and go home, huh? Most of them hardly sell 20% of what Chrysler does.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't blame the workers or the designers! Blame the bean counters for bad reliability and blame the decision makers for bad designs.....why go through all the headache to make old grampa cars that nobody wants?
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's a horribly mean thing to say. Not only is Chrysler in horrible termoil, but no matter what you say before it, people have families, and depend on it alot. I'm sorry, but that's just a horribly mean thing to say.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Again, I was not trying to be mean to the workers, it must be horrible for them, but Chrysler is in termoil for a reason. They make bad products that only a small percentage of people want.
        • 5 Years Ago
        tanooki2003: Now let's say that some time in that process, a German company comes in and 'merges' with you for ten years, somewhere around your rear end. Let's say that during those eight years, quality of materials and benchmarks for product drop significantly while the German company's older products are 'paid off' by using those parts in your company's products. Let's then say you finally get out from under that pile of crap a year earlier, and you're stuck with a product portfolio that is not ideal.

        Then let's say some idiot on the internet marginalizes your entire history by making a bonehead comment like one above by 'tanooki2003' who doesn't actually think about what happened in the last ten years to cause this mess.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here's a hint, Chrysler. Close the plant that makes the Sebring. Not even rental companies want that eyesore, they stick with shapely Pontiac G6s. In fact, to make sure something like the current Sebring never sees the light of day again, shoot the man who approved it to be sold in the first place.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That would be Dieter Zetche now the head of Mercedes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler dealers have a 150 day supply of cars. These plants aren't reopening anytime soon, regardless of what Minimum Bob says.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fiat is eyeing Chrysler production facilities, and perhaps an edge on scooping them from under GM's nose. Brampton and Sterling Heights flex plants are a carmakers dream.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Jamie:

        Even if Fiat works very quickly, it will be at least two years before a Fiat is built in the US. If Chrysler lasts that long, which I doubt. After that, all bets are off.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe we should start a pool to determine the date when "temporarily" becomes "permanantly." As for "horribly mean" just face reality - the Viper is on life support, the Avenger/Sebring and Caliber/Compass are each arguably the least attractive cars in their segments, the 300C is painfully long in the tooth, and the novelty of the Challenger will wear off within a year or so. Fiat won't be around for another year or two - if ever.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The novelty of the Challenger has already worn off. You can easily get $4000 off MSRP on one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It doesn't help that the Challenger is bloated and drives like a barrel with wheels glued on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler should live! All the Chrysler products have been on par with the other makes I`ve owned if not better.
      Out of the big 3 it was Chrsler who could figer out how to build the most usefull family vehicle of all the minivan.
      The new Dodge Ram is absolutely beautiful.
      A lot of the junk they have was Diamler inspired design wise.
      The biggest bone they pulled was the 2.7l engine, stay away from that.
      The 3.3l has been the best engine I ever had in a vehicle.
      All companys have their ups and downs. Chrysler`s uniqueness make them a welcome choice even if you elect not to choose it.
      Every time a American company dies a part of American dies with it.
      The prosperity we enjoy today was built by our great companys.
      Right now we are seeing what corporate greed is doing to us.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sorry to hear about all the closings.

      My idea would go further than the incentives given now.

      Price the vehicles well below market value and move the old stock out.

      Give government sales a real bargin since they need new stock for their agencies.

      Donate some SUVs to local law enforcment agencies for their services.

      Hey, if the stimulus package kicks in, these will be older models. It can a year or more.

      Move the older stock now and try to keep inventory very low. Shutting the plants down will do that and making vehicles a slower rate and at much lower levels can keep things moving slowly, but surely.

      Give buyers reasons to buy. Those that can of course.

      Also, we must all really wish those that have not been as lucky as us, who are working, to wish them all the best.

      We need to be compassionate and caring right now.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Sorry to hear that this will cause more hardships.

      Chrysler needs to move the old stock and they need a really good incentive promotion.

      Great deals on 2007/08 models. Slash the prices and move the stock.

      Give government contracts even lower prices. They are getting money for new vehicles in the new bill.

      Give greater deals on the 2009 stocks as well.

      Donate some idle SUVs to local emergency services agencies. You will look good in the communities and have some sort of a tax right off.

      Lets wish all those who have lost their jobs a quick recovery.

      Compassion is most needed right now.

      Thanks.
      • 5 Years Ago

      Looks like Chrysler might be almost on death row. Hope Fiat can grant it a pardon and commute its sentence.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Agreed, I would rather be struck repeatedly in the head with a hammer than buy a new durango.
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