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Chrysler reportedly set to extend holiday shutdown at five plants

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Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Chrysler

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Dodge Viper ACR - Click above for a high res image gallery

During last year's holiday season Chrysler's rank and file were faced with extended holiday shutdowns. The reason was simple: Millions of Americans decided to stop buying vehicles due to the economic downturn. While the market is still down, auto sales have stabilized and the Pentastar isn't dealing with an outrageously bloated inventory, but Chrysler vehicles aren't flying off dealer lots. Chrysler was the only major automaker to see year over year sales down by double digits in November and the automaker's short-turn sales outlook is anything but rosy.

The Wall Street Journal reports that for the second straight year many Chrysler workers will be on extended shutdown during the holidays, with five plants taking three week leaves beginning December 21. Vehicles affected by production shutdowns include the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans, the Dodge Viper, Charger and Challenger, the Chrysler 300 and the Jeep Wrangler. Also under consideration for an extended layoff is the Dodge Ram. The Pentastar originally planned to shutter the plants for the typical ten-day holiday shutdown. To help combat continued slow sales Chrysler has increased its advertising budget.

[source: Wall Streer Journal - Sub. Req.]

Chrysler reportedly set to extend holiday shutdown at five plants originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Dec 2009 07:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Um, this combined with Honda taking over #4 in the U.S. and all this product uncertainty. Maybe a new Dakota, no more AWD cars. Um, maybe a replacement for the small cars. OH and dealers not staying open cause they can't get short term loans, that end up turning into long term loans cause they can't sell the cars on the lots.

What the heck is going on here?

That article about the end of the Ram (type of truck not brand), the minivans and Jeep being the only viable products that anybody would be interested in is looking more and more like a reality right now.

Didn't anybody tell anybody that FIAT isn't exactly flush with cash (as they are owned by the government in Italy) and not really moving too quickly here. I see this FIAT thing as being a scapegoat more than anything else.

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Sounds like the next 10 months or so are going to be rough for Chrysler until they are able to get some new '11 models in the showrooms. Unless those get delayed until MY '12.

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What new product?

They have NOTHING in the pipeline.

The Jeep GC is being screwed with by MB.

Fiat has some cars coming, I guess.

But what else?

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Supposedly the NG Charger and 300 are coming for '11 or '12.

I assume they have a plan to replace or facelift the dismal Caliber, Avenger and Sebring in the next couple of years.

Really, the only Chrysler products I'm interested in are the NG Jeep GC and the current Challenger and Wrangler..

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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Al little research...

Avenger, Sebring

The Avenger/Sebring are in the plan through 2012; both will be regenerated to address their flaws, with new interiors, refreshed exteriors, and new powertrains. They will then be scrapped in favor of new cars using modified Fiat platforms, with the width stretched by 1.6 inches.

Dodge Challenger, 200C, Imperial, Charger, 300

The Challenger will be redesigned for 2011 and continue through 2014. The stunning Chrysler 200C was approved, to be built on the LX line, but Fiat might have cancelled it; no mention was made in the presentation. Imperial was set for 2015 when last seen. The 2011 Dodge Charger is expected to bring back a little more of the classic look from the famous 1968 Chargers, one of the most stylish vehicles ever built. Ralph Gilles is keeping the 2011 Chrysler 300 similar but with greatly improved aerodynamics. The Hemi is to continue.

Dodge Ram

The 2010 Dodge Ram 2500/3500 have been introduced. oh20 wrote: “Dodge is currently working on a plan that would make the 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs available to all Dodge dealers” (not just those certified for fleet sales). The improvements to the diesel Rams come just in time as Toyota is planning a one-ton, HD Toyota Tundra with an Isuzu-based engine (as we predicted). The hybrid Ram has been pushed back to fourth-quarter 2010. New Class 4 and Class 5 chassis cabs will start production in April 2010 as 2011 models. Cummins engines appear to be in the plan.

Jeep Wrangler

The 2011 Wrangler is due in the second or third quarter of 2010, and will have a standard Pentastar V6 with an optional Fiat diesel.

Grand Cherokee / Jeep Commander

The Grand Cherokee platform (WK) will be used for the next Durango, in standard and stretched versions; it appears the Durango roofline will go up as it goes back, while the Grand Cherokee roofline goes down, giving Durango more cargo space. For the 2011 Grand Cherokee, we’ve been told to expect the same Mercedes 3-liter V6 diesel (the V6 Cummins appears to be gone), with the 3.6 liter Phoenix engine and the 5.7 Hemi. The new 3.6 should outrun the original 4.7 V8 and the gas V6 gets better mileage than the Mercedes diesel. There might be a Fiat diesel instead of the Mercedes unit. 2011 Grand Cherokee details

The Jeep Commander will continue as an offshore-only model, using the 2006-2010 model year tooling and production facilities in another country. Sergio Marchionne said in December 2009 that it could not be built on the same line as the 2011 Grand Cherokee (which will be accompanied by a Durango replacement), and would instead be built elsewhere, and sold in countries such as (but not definitely) China and Russia.

Jeep Liberty / Dodge Nitro

The Nitro is based on the Jeep Liberty, and is built on the same line; but it is not expected to last past this generation. The Liberty itself will be replaced by a Fiat platform in 2013.

Patriot and Compass

Nicely redone interiors and a bit more sound insulation make these cars much more attractive and favorable Patriot reviews have started to flow. Sales have not followed, though. To be dropped in 2012 and replaced by a single Fiat-based vehicle.

Dodge Dakota

Dodge Dakota might continue as a unibody based truck.

Dodge Durango

The Durango will be a reskinned, retuned, possibly extended-wheelbase version of the 2011 Grand Cherokee; the truck-based Durango’s factory in Newark, Delaware closed in 2008.

Caravan / Town & Country

2009 models. For 2011 or 2012 models: Pentastar 3.6 liter V6 (280 horsepower), active head restraints, and more. Motor Trend claims that the next minivans will once again have different wheelbases, with the smaller one also having a narrower track, for better sales in Europe under a Fiat label. The larger one would probably be the Chrysler. They would share most components. Redesigned Caravan due in 2014.

Dodge Journey, JC49

The Dodge Journey was to be part of Chrysler’s serious entry into Europe; it wasn’t even noticed by Eurobuyers. The Chrysler version is dead. The Journey has gotten good reviews and sales are better than most competitors. Journey is doing very well in Canada where it has been the #1 crossover in some months. To be restyled inside and out — complete interior redesign, mild exterior refresh, new engine.

Chrysler PT Cruiser

The PT has gotten a reprieve and is to be refreshed for 2011 or 2012; Fiat seems to respect it much more than Chrysler had. PT Cruisers.

Sprinter / Ram vans

The Mercedes vans, built in Germany and assembled from knockdown kits in South Carolina, will be dropped in favor of Fiat’s commercial vans — both their large and small ones. Patrick McNamara wrote, “The Sprinter [replacement might be] the Ducato. I wouldn't bet my reputation on this. The Iveco Daily is rear drive and has a broad range of GVW options. It could be either one. The 2000 Dodge Maxx concept was a crew cab pickup with (I believe) FWD and a 4.7 V8. Back then Chrysler engineers did shoehorn a few of these into the minivan chassis. That styling on the Ducato platform would be awesome.” The small one would be the Fiat Doblo. See Fiat commercial vans.

http://www.allpar.com/model/upcoming.html

The hard part will be making it until the new product arrives. I heard from a product rep that the GC shows up at dealerships in April, and there's rumor that the 300C may be unveiled on New Year's Eve.

I believe what Chrysler is doing now is cutting operating costs and production as much as possible to stem the bleeding and make it to teh new product, which is really all they can do. We'll see what happens...

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