Earlier this spring as Chrysler stumbled toward bankruptcy court, one of the announced cost-cutting decisions was the elimination of the third shift at the Windsor assembly plant. That's the factory that produces the Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Caravan and Volkswagen Routan minivans. According to Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, the company has reversed course and will keep the third shift operational. Preserving the final shift will prevent 1,200 layoffs at the factory.
The change was made possible by a revised labor deal agreed to this spring, which cut $207 million in annual costs. Earlier this year, the plant "temporarily" ceased building the Routan for Volkswagen due to slow sales. According to VW of America communications director Steve Keyes, the Routan will live on as well. Keyes tells Autoblog "We will be introducing the 2010 MY vehicle this Fall and continue work on future models. Our goal was to capture 5 percent of the segment and we're meeting that target."