Windsor Assembly Prepares for 2017 Chrysler Town & Country Production

This just in from Fiat-Chrysler – the Windsor Assembly Plant from Ontario stopped manufacturing a few days ago. After 14 weeks from now on, FCA will restart production at the Canadian facility, but the 2017 Chrysler Town & Country minivan will arrive later than June, 2015. Pretty curious, isn't it?
Windsor Assembly Plant 1 photo
FCA Corporate tweeted in January what we were waiting for roughly two years: the "new @Chrysler #minivan will be seen in January 2016, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says. #NAIAS," which is half a year after the Italo-American group's Windsor facility will have restarted manufacturing operations.

It was December 2014 when FCA US LLC announced that a crane weighing 600 tons has been erected on site to install structural metal pieces that will see the creation of a new conveyor enclosure for the factory’s roof. As Chrysler highlights, those 14 weeks of downtime announced recently will be used exclusively for making changes to the assembly process.

In total, Chrysler will invest $2 billion worth of engineering, development, training, retooling and new equipment into the 2017 Chrysler Town & Country minivan program. The most important addition to the Windsor, Ontario plant is the addition of a skillet assembly system, which is similar to what the company uses at its Toledo (Jeep products) and Sterling Heights (2015 Chrysler 200) factories (see video below).

FCA US LLC tells that the 1,600-feet-long skillet assembly line will be 70 percent shorter than Windsor's current assembly line. The skillet line allows each vehicle’s height to be adjusted along the way to fit the operation in each station, also allowing for employees’ tools to be closer for their respective tasks.

The system will have 66 skillets with 46 workstations in total when it'll be finished

As for the 2017 Chrysler Town & Country minivan, our team of talented carparazzi spied it only recently, both inside and out. Things to look forward to: a multi-link setup for the rear axle, turbo four and six-cylinder engines, a plug-in hybrid variant and a cabin that's laden with Dodge Charger-sourced parts.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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