Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will idle its minivan plant in Windsor, Ont., the weeks of Jan. 13 and 20 to “align production with demand.”
The automaker would not elaborate on the temporary layoff. Originally, FCA said it would only idle the plant the week of Jan. 20 but then on Wednesday morning added the week of Jan. 13.
About 6,500 workers build the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Grand Caravan in Windsor.
Canadian Pacifica sales were down 38 per cent to 3,731 in 2019. Grand Caravan sales in Canada were down 15 per cent to 27,362 last year.
In the United States, sales totalled 97,705 for the Pacifica, a 17-per-cent drop from a year ago. Caravan sales also fell, down 19 per cent to 122,648 units.
The automaker has never provided the number of days of inventory for its vehicles in Canada and has stopped doing so in the United States, so it’s not known how many minivans are on dealer lots across North America.
The weeklong shutdown comes as the automaker prepares to end the plant’s midnight shift at the end of March.
FCA said in the summer of 2018 it would end the third shift but since that announcement has extended the shift’s end date several times.
In November, the company said it will operate until the end of the first quarter in 2020.