After the cuts, there will still be one shift to build the 200, but even then the model won't have much of a future. In January, CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that FCA would discontinue production of the 200 and Dodge Dart because customers were no longer interested in small sedans. All of the roughly 3,000 hourly workers at Sterling Heights have been on a temporary layoff since February 1, according to The Detroit News. They don't go back to work until next week.
United Auto Workers Vice President Norwood Jewell released a statement saying that while the "shift reduction at Sterling Heights Assembly is unfortunate, it is not unexpected." However, he was fairly upbeat about the cuts because FCA plans to increase production capacity for trucks and SUVs. "I believe that in the long term this move will be a positive one for our members and the company," he said.
During last year's labor negotiations, the UAW's deal reportedly included an agreement for FCA to move 200 and Dodge Dart production to Toluca, Mexico, but the company promised to build the Ram 1500 at Sterling Heights Assembly. FCA spokesperson Jodi Tinson gave no comment about future vehicles at the factory when asked by Autoblog.
In order to better align production with demand at its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, FCA US notified the State of Michigan, the City of Sterling Heights and the UAW today that it intends to return the plant to a one shift operation, beginning July 5. The Company will place indefinitely laid off employees in open full-time positions as they become available within the Detroit labor market based on seniority.
A Statement from UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell on FCA Announcement about Sterling Heights Assembly:
While today's announcement of a shift reduction at Sterling Heights Assembly is unfortunate, it is not unexpected. FCA is not the only company experiencing a slow market for small cars. On a bright note, there is a strong demand for larger-sized vehicles. The company has been planning to increase its capacity to build more trucks and SUVs. I believe that in the long term this move will be a positive one for our members and the company.