Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will invest around 1.5 billion Canadian dollars in its plant in Windsor in the Canadian province of Ontario and will also produce electric cars and plug-in hybrids there from 2025. A few weeks ago, the Unifor union had negotiated a very similar deal with Ford.
The agreement between the company and the union provides for the car manufacturer to modernize the plant for the equivalent of 970 million dollars. Of the BEVs and PHEVs to be built there, at least one will be a new model, Unifor announced on Twitter. It is to be a “state-of-the-art multi-energy vehicle platform”. Further details are not yet official.
Windsor is located directly opposite Detroit on the Canadian side of the Detroit River and is connected to the Michigan supplier infrastructure. At the Windsor Assembly Plant, which was opened in 1928, three van models are currently being built in two shifts: The Pacifica, Voyager and Grand Caravan are all sold under the Chrysler brand. Whether the van models will be converted to the new multi-energy platform or whether they will primarily be new models is currently not confirmed by FCA. The car manufacturer only confirmed a preliminary agreement with Unifor, but did not disclose any details.
According to Unifor boss Jerry Dias, the deal is “a home run for the community of Windsor”. The unionist said that FCA had committed to maintaining the existing product portfolio in Ontario (i.e. the three van models), but will also add three new product derivatives. Earlier this year, the third shift in Windsor was cancelled, when 1,500 employees were laid off. According to Dias, the deal will now rehire 425 of the laid-off workers and create a total of 1,500 new jobs in the region.
“With this investment and as vehicles start to roll off the assembly line in 2024, our third shift will be back and we expect that the total jobs will rise to over 2,000 more in the community in Windsor,” Dias said. “The work in Windsor will start in 2023.”
It was not until late September that it was announced that Unifor had entered into a similar agreement with Ford. The carmaker will invest 1.8 billion CAD (1.15 billion euros) in the Oakville plant, which is located like Windsor in Ontario, and build battery electric cars there from 2024. Details on this, i.e. which models will be involved and how exactly the changeover will take place, are not yet known here either.