Windsor Assembly Plant resumes operations following extended hiatus

·1 min read
Employees inside the Windsor Assembly Plant are shown in a file image supplied by Stellantis. The plant is set to reopen on Monday. (Submitted by FCA Canada - image credit)
Employees inside the Windsor Assembly Plant are shown in a file image supplied by Stellantis. The plant is set to reopen on Monday. (Submitted by FCA Canada - image credit)

The Windsor Assembly Plant reopened Monday after being shut down for most of the last several months due to a global shortage of the microchips needed in auto manufacturing.

The facility, which manufactures the Pacifica minivan, has been closed since March 29, though there was a limited reopening the week of May 31.

LISTEN: Dave Cassidy joins Windsor Morning

Dave Cassidy, president Unifor Local 444, which represents the auto workers, expressed optimism that the plant can remain open this time around.

"I hope that we're going to continue working right till shutdown," he said, referencing the plant's annually scheduled closure for part of August.

Stellantis, formerly known as Fiat Chrysler, announced late last month that Windsor Assembly Plant would resume production on the week of July 5.

"We continue to evaluate our manufacturing plans on a week to week basis," LouAnn Gosselin, head of communications for Stellantis Canada, said in a statement at the time.

This year, a worldwide shortage of semiconductors, which are used in many electronic devices, sent shockwaves throughout the auto sector, causing many manufacturers to halt or reduce production.

The Stellantis facility in Detroit that produces the Jeep Grand Cherokee has not had the same fate as the Windsor plant this year, however, a decision Cassidy believes reflects demand.

"The Pacificas weren't selling the way we'd hope that they were, so with new products they were hot topic items so that's why they picked those," he said, later adding that a switch to full electric could boost interest in the minivan.

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