The minivan plant of Chrysler Group in Windsor, Ontario, has slowed down its output this week, according to Allpar.com and the Windsor Star newspaper. For at least the next week, the three shifts at this factory will work four-hour shifts rather than eight-hour shifts for the production of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans.
Chrysler released production data that stated that Windsor Assembly had not rolled out any Volkswagen Routan minivans so far this year. Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson said that production will likely return to normal on March 18. She explained that the production was being slowed down so that it can be aligned with the market demand.
For the first two months in 2013, the combined sales of the two minivans decreased by 15% but most of the loss can be attributed to a 26% decline in the sales of the Grand Caravan. Meanwhile, Town & Country sales fell by 1%. The Automotive News data center said that as of March 1, Chrysler had a 69-day inventory of Chrysler Town & Countrys of 24,713 units. It also had a 43-day supply of Grand Caravans, with 18,547 units unsold.
Tinson said that the company decided to slow down output due to demand and not because it wasn’t able to build an adequate number of 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engines.
This engine is used in some of Chrysler's highest volume vehicles, like the Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, Chrysler 200 and 300. Tinson said that the company is gauging future demand and making adjustments. Tinson also said that there’s no sense in going full speed and then later having the inventory grow. Chrysler is believed to have enough supply to cope with the present demand and so it has chosen to cut working hours to come to a balance.