Lagging Dodge Caravan Sales No Problem For Unifor 444

Unifor Local 444 President Dino Chiodo at the launch for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, May 6, 2016. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

The president of Unifor 444 is not worried about lagging sales of the Windsor-built Dodge Caravan, and believes the third shift is safe.

Dino Chiodo says he’s confident all three shifts at the Windsor Assembly Plant are safe for the foreseeable future, despite monthly and year to date sales of the Caravan declining.

Airbag regulations in the U.S. have stopped Caravan sales there, but Chiodo says he hopes Windsor-built Pacifica sales will eventually pick up the sales slack as the Caravan gets phased out.

“We aren’t even close to anything like that, and I don’t think we’re going in that direction. I think the Windsor Assembly Plant will remain with three shifts for a long time to come,” says Chiodo.

FCA Canada is reporting June sales of the Caravan have declined by 24% from last June, and year to date sales have dropped by 6% for the first six months of 2017 compared to the first half of last year.

Pacifica sales are too new to compare, but nearly 3,500 units have been sold so far this year.

FCA Canada is reporting its second-best start to a calendar year on record with almost 152,000 vehicles sold in the first six months.

The best start was last year with just over 154,000 vehicles sold during the same period.

“I see that there’s a realignment and a re-balancing with regards to more volume of the Pacifica required, but I think that’s in short order, and I think there’s adjustments being made to accommodate that,” says Chiodo.