Car News

Canadian Plants Safe if Chrysler, Dodge Go Away: Unifor

Unifor President Jerry Dias says that Chrysler and Dodge being left out of Fiat Chrysler's latest business plan doesn't mean the end of the automaker's Canadian plants.

Last month, FCA revealed a five-year plan, spanning 2018 through 2022. The plan included new products for Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. What it didn't include was anything from Chrysler and Dodge or Fiat.

FCA's Ontario operations include a plant in Brampton and one in Windsor. The first builds the Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, and Dodge Charger. The second builds the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Caravan, with the two employing close to 10,000 hourly workers.

Dias told Automotive News that FCA has assured him that the plants will survive and that they do have product commitments. Dias also told AN that he had confidence that FCA CEO and Canadian citizen Sergio Marchionne wanted to keep the plants open.

"I take him at his word," Dias said. "I doubt very much that he would want to see the fall of those plants on his watch." Dias said that part of the assurance included product commitments, but he did not say what brands or products those might be.

While FCA may want to keep the plants open despite the lack of an announced plan for Chrysler and Dodge, it's not clear yet how or if ongoing NAFTA negotiations or the threat of US tariffs on Canadian imported vehicles would affect the facilities.