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Chrysler idles truck and SUV plants due to Japanese earthquake

Chrysler Group has announced that they would be moving planned summer shutdowns forward at several facilities to conserve parts that could be in short supply, stemming from problems caused by the Japanese earthquake on March 11th.

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Chrysler has not stated exactly what parts they are trying to conserve but the company plans to idle plants in Michigan, Ohio and Mexico – all of which produce trucks, SUVs or components for one of the two. These plants all had planned routine downtime later this summer for maintenance, retooling and other tasks required before getting into the next model year production but the automaker has opted to idle these plants earlier than originally expected.

In Michigan, the Warren Truck production facility that builds Ram 1500 and Dakota pickups will be closed the weeks of June 20-24 and June 27-July 1. The original dates for the scheduled downtime at the Warren plant were the weeks of July 11-15 and July 18-22. The production of the Dakota is planned to wind down at the end of this year and while the Ram management has talked about a new small truck that will differentiate itself more from the Ram Truck lineup, no information on this new pickup has been offered.

Next, in Ohio Chrysler will stop production at the Toledo North Assembly Plant for two weeks and the Toledo Supplier Park for one week. Toledo North builds the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro sport utility vehicles and like the scheduled downtime for the Warren, Michigan plant, Toledo North will be shuttered from June 20-24 and June 27-July 1 rather than the weeks of July 11-15 and July 18-22. The Toledo Supplier Park plant builds the Jeep Wrangler and the downtime for that group will take place on June 20-24 rather than July 11-15.

Finally, the Mexican production facility responsible for Ram Trucks has cancelled scheduled overtime for May 20, May 27, June 10, and June 24 rather than having a week of downtime beginning on July 11th.

Source: Automotive News

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Dodge to bring back the Charger Super Bee
The Jeep Wrangler lineup to get Pentastar V6, perhaps a diesel option

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