2011 Ram 1500 Tradesman – Click above for high-res image gallery

Other than the temporary shut down of General Motors' Shreveport, Louisiana plant and the loss of some paint colors, domestic automakers haven't yet felt the brunt of parts shortages due to the March 11 earthquake in Japan. According to a report from The Detroit Free Press, that changes shortly for Chrysler. Spokeswoman Jodi Tinson tells the Freep that three plants will idle earlier than expected in an effort to "conserve parts from suppliers impacted by the situation in Japan."

Chrysler's Warren Truck plant, which builds the Ram 1500 and Dakota, and Toledo North, which builds the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro, will both shut down for the weeks of June 20 and June 27. The original plan was for the plants to go idle for the weeks of July 11 and July 18. The Toledo Supplier Park, which builds the Jeep Wrangler, will shut down for the week of June 20 instead of the week of July 11.

A fourth facility in Saltillo, Mexico, which builds Ram models from the base 1500 through the heavy-duty 5500, will also lose overtime on May 20, May 27, June 10 and June 24. In a move that is likely to annoy the United Auto Workers, Chrysler is also dropping the plants' planned week of downtime.

At this point, it is unclear if Chrysler will endure more downtime as a result of parts shortages, but it appears that Team Pentastar has more than enough supplies of key vehicles to keep dealers happy for weeks if problems persist.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Dafish
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not sure why they just don't drop the Dakota, it has been a complete failure since the last "upgrade" which made it heavier, lower, harsher riding and a fuel hog and under powered unless you have the V8 which guzzles worse then the 1992 V6. Just start now retooling for the next generation Dakota and leave the parts for the other vehicles.
        Robert
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dafish
        I don't think the issue was that it is heavier, lower, harsher riding or a fuel hog. It actually is a capable truck given its size and the fact that no other domestic automaker offered a truck in that category. Instead the problem for the Dakota is that it is expensive to build and thus the sticker price on one is sometimes more than what it would cost to buy a full size Ram. Why pay for more money for a smaller truck especially when you equip it with a V8? It will be dropped soon enough and replaced. If not by Dodge then by Jeep. (fingers crossed with the thought of a Wrangler based pickup...)
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      shouldn't that read 'shutdown due to customer shortage'
        Kai F. Lahmann
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
        I guess so. Ford, GM and Chrysler all have "part problem" on their big pickups and more or less nowhere else...
        Robert
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
        Actually if you read the sales charts posted here at Autoblog since the first of the year Chrysler's sales increases have been higher than the overall market increases. This shutdown will only benefit Chrysler as the retooling for the 2012s will be put in place quicker which means new engines and transmissions sooner rather than later for almost all their models. It will also give Japan time to deal with some of their supply issues. Don't be surprised to see Ford and GM follow suit and shut down some of their plants a little early as well to conserve parts and get some of their updated models out quicker to take advantage the Japanese automakers difficulties.
      The Angry Intern
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nevermind the truck, look at that HUGE man standing behind the truck!!!!!!
      1guyin10
      • 3 Years Ago
      Didn't Ford Louisville also shut down for a week due to parts shortages?