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Chrysler Idles St Louis Minivan Plant

Workers responsible for building the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country in St. Louis, Missouri, received notice that, come October, their jobs would “indefinitely” be suspended.

That “indefinite” adjective may become “permanent,” as Chrysler LLC co-president Tom LaSorda told Automotive News that the automaker had “no intent to rerun this plant,” and that it ultimately may be fully closed.; The closure could eliminate up to 1500 jobs from the factory.

The stoppage at the St. Louis South plant isn’t Chrysler’s first cut in Missouri; the automaker previously announced it would eliminate a shift – or 900 workers – from the St. Louis North plant, responsible for building the full-size Dodge Ram pickup.

Although van production will be eliminated at St. Louis, it continues in Canada, where Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario, factory continues to produce the Grand Caravan, Town & Country, and the 2009 Volkswagen Routan models. Chrysler can reportedly build vans in Windsor for nearly $1000 less than it can in the U.S.; The disparity is attributed by UAW representatives in St. Louis to savings in health care costs.

Chrysler says the decision was made based on volume.; In the first half of 2008, Grand Caravan and Town & Country sales fell 34.6 and 13.4 percent, respectively. Chrysler claims it can meet current demand for the vans with a single shift devoted to each version.

Source: Automotive News

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Buying Guide

2016 Chrysler Town & Country

Fair Market Price $32,602 Limited
Motor Trend Rating
StarStarStarHalf-StarNo-Star

EPA MPG:

17 City / 25 Hwy

Safety (NHTSA):

★★★★

Cargo (Std/Max):

33 / 144 cu. ft.