|Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada|
More than ever, we’re aware that the world we know is subject to change. Adaptation during these changing periods is essential for individuals or groups to prosper for the future. Consensus and understanding are necessary to make the first steps along a better path that will ideally benefit everyone. With the automobile being an evolving machine that requires the successful interaction of many parts, the industry behind the construction of high quality vehicles must operate in the collective best interests for the present and the future.
Since 1925, the company now known as Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) and Canadian auto workers have assembled a fleet of great products. The Windsor Assembly Plant has served as the depended upon location for the automaker’s minivan since its inception while the Brampton Assembly Plant (acquired in 1986 after Chrysler Corporation purchased the American Motor Corporation) is currently the home for the Chrysler 300 as well as Dodge’s full-sized Charger sedan and Challenger coupe. On Thursday October 15th, the union representing 9,000 current workers for FCA agreed to a tentative labour deal securing the production at the two automobile production plants as well as the company’s Etobicoke Casting facility.
The three-year agreement between the automaker and Canadian union includes crucial financial considerations for workers but also commitments to all three major facilities operated by FCA in the country. Increased work is slated to be allocated to Etobicoke Casting towards the construction of components for the Jeep Wrangler as well as FCA’s nine-speed automatic transmission. For the Brampton Assembly Plant, 50 million dollars will be pumped into the location for the purpose of extending production of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger. It’s unclear for how long the vehicles will be produced but could run up to 2023. Although rumoured for replacement several times in past years, FCA’s full-sized cars produced at the Brampton Assembly Plant remain steady sellers in North America.
The biggest news arriving after the announcement of the tentative labour agreement is an up to 1.5-billion dollar investment destined for the Windsor Assembly Plant. Currently manufacturing the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan, the Essex County plant will be optimized to create electrified vehicles. A plug-in hybrid Chrysler Pacifica (the Pacifica Hybrid) is already produced at the FCA Windsor plant but the upcoming investment touts the addition of battery electric vehicles as well as the addition of at least one new model for 2025. Added vehicle production at Windsor Assembly will also see the re-institution of a third shift offering up to 2,000 new employment opportunities.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ pledge for the future of the Canadian automotive industry follows similar labour negotiations with Ford Motor Company also resulting in production guarantees. The 1.8-billion dollar investment by Ford into building fully electric vehicles at their Oakville Assembly Complex include a 590 million dollars from the federal and Ontario provincial government. It’s unclear at this time if government funds are paired with FCA’s Canadian investment.