More Mopar plant downtime; Tavares giving up second job

Automotive News reported this morning that the Windsor minivan plant and Belvidere Cherokee factory will be down for another week due to the semiconductor shortage. Windsor will then be down for the entire month of September. Belvidere is scheduled to return to duty after October 1, but as at most automakers now, scheduling is week-to-week.

painting pacifica at windsor

Windsor has around 4,500 workers, who have endured much more downtime than usual due to the Pacifica’s thirst for semiconductors. The plant was down for most of April, May, and June, and was at part capacity for some of the time it was actually up. The shortages have affected every automaker, but Windsor seems particularly hard-hit.

In other news, Carlos Tavares will be leaving his position on the Airbus board at the end of his second term, in 2022, to have more time to lead Stellantis. Airbus, centered in France, makes aerospace products including commercial planes, surpassing Boeing as the world’s largest commercial airline supplier in 2019. The company, ironically, includes the former Matra, which used SIMCA (part of Chrysler Europe) vehicles as the basis for sports cars and a pioneering SUV; they also developed the first European minivan, the Renault Espace, with work largely done in cooperation with Chrysler Europe.

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David Zatz started what was to become the world’s biggest, most comprehensive Mopar site in 1994 as he pursued a career in organizational research and change. After a chemo-induced break, during which he wrote car books covering Vipers, minivans, and Jeeps, he returned with some friends to create, which is intended to end up as an enduring partnership. Contact him at (973) 925-6058 or check out the new junkyard/slant six book he edited.

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