By Patrick Rall
Each summer, Chrysler Group plants around North American
take a couple weeks off so that they can re-tool the facilities for the
upcoming model year while also allowing the dealerships to sell off existing
models sitting on lots but due to strong sales through the first four months of
2012 – several Chrysler Group plants will stay open through their scheduled
First and foremost, the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in
Detroit and the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois will both completely skip
their scheduled two week summer downtime.
Jefferson North builds the Dodge Durango and the Jeep Grand Cherokee
while Belvidere currently builds the awesome new Dodge Dart alongside the Jeep
Compass and Jeep Patriot. The strong
sales of the Durango, Grand Cherokee, Patriot and Compass require these two
plants to stay open all summer – bolstered by the start of production of the
new Dart. Also, the Toluca Car Assembly
Plant in Mexico will skip their summer downtime. Toluca produces the Dodge Journey (and the
Fiat Freemont) along with the compact Fiat 500.
Two plants around North America will take one week off
rather than two, as the Sterling Heights Michigan plant and Saltillo Truck
Assembly will each take shorter than expected periods of downtime. Sterling Heights produces the Dodge Avenger
and the Chrysler 200 while Saltillo produces the Ram pickup.
Finally, there are a handful of facilities that will undergo
two week shutdowns during the summer for retooling. This includes Brampton Assembly, Warren
(Michigan) Truck Assembly, Windsor Assembly and Toledo North. Brampton builds the Dodge Charger, Dodge
Challenger and Chrysler 300; Windsor Assembly builds the Chrysler Town &
Country alongside the Dodge Grand Caravan; Warren Truck builds the Ram pickup
and Toledo North builds the Jeep Liberty.