- FCA is ending production of the Dodge Grand Caravan this coming May and is cutting 1500 jobs at the plant in Windsor, Ontario.
- The Chrysler Voyager will be the last remaining version of FCA's long-selling minivan as Dodge focuses its efforts on performance-oriented products.
- Minivans have steadily declined in popularity as consumer preferences have shifted to SUVs.
We’ve known that the Chrysler Voyager would replace the Dodge Grand Caravan, but until, it was unclear when that would happen. Yesterday, the Italian-American automaker announced that it is ending production of its iconic people mover by the end of May and cutting 1500 jobs at the factory where it is produced in Windsor, Ontario.
About a month after the Dodge minivan ends production, June 29, 1500 employees will be out of their jobs at the Ontario factory where it has been built. This year marks the 35th year of production for the Caravan, which got its start in 1985. The Grand Caravan is FCA's best-selling minivan, selling more than 122,000 models in the U.S. in 2019; sales peaked in 1996 at just over 300,000.
"Now we will ensure that our members receive the support that they need in this process as we continue to fight like hell for new product for Windsor Assembly to get everyone back to work that will be affected by the shift elimination," read a post on the Facebook page of Local 444 Unifor, the labor union that represents the workers in the Windsor plant.
This adjustment cements Chrysler's status as as the FCA people-mover brand, while Dodge focuses on being the muscle-car brand with its recognizable names such as the Challenger and Charger.
Minivan sales have been steadily falling as SUVs continue their surge in popularity. From 2018 to 2019, sales dropped 15 percent, making up only 2.4 percent of new-vehicle sales last year. In 2000, the minivan's market share was 7.2 percent.
"This decision comes as the company works to align volumes with demand," according to an FCA statement. "The company will make every effort to place indefinitely laid-off hourly employees in open full-time positions as they become available based on seniority and will offer retirement packages to eligible employees."
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