Windsor Assembly Plant to hire 1,200 new workers, FCA CEO says
Estimated 1,200 jobs double the 600 originally projected
Windsor Assembly Plant will hire 1,200 new workers, instead of 600 as originally projected, said Reid Bigland, president and CEO at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Bigland made the announcement as part of a press event at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto Thursday. The company first posted online job postings for assembly line workers in October.
Approximately 4,500 workers assemble the Dodge Grand Caravan and the Chrysler Town and Country at the facility in Windsor, Ont.
This year, the company is introducing a brand new minivan called the Pacifica, which will replace both models, though the company plans to keep producing the current model of the Grand Caravan as long as there is buyer demand.
The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica is expected to hit dealerships sometime in the spring with full production ramping up in May, Bigland said.
The Pacifica will also be built in Windsor. At the North American International Auto Show in January, FCA officials said the Pacifica would guarantee work at that facility for at least six or seven years.
"We just made a substantial investment in Canada, I think probably one of the largest ever," Bigland said in Toronto. "We're excited about our new minivan and we're focusing on the things we can control."
Bigland also spoke about FCA's plans to focus in on minivans, trucks and SUVs at the show. He said the company would continue producing smaller cars, but would be looking "where the puck is going" in terms of the auto-buyers market.
New employees to build Pacifica
The 1,200 new workers will make up jobs lost through attrition as well as new employees to build the Pacifica, Dino Chiodo told CBC News in a phone interview.
Chiodo is the president of Unifor Local 444, which represents assembly workers at Windsor Assembly Plant. He is in Toronto for the Canadian International Auto Show.
"This shows Canada can compete," Chiodo said. "Canada has the ability to have some of the best productivity levels, the best training opportunities, the best launches," he said. "We've got educated people, skilled people that can build an award-winning vehicle."
'It's great news'
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said the city knew the job numbers would be higher than initial figures suggested, but he did not know the final number until it was announced.
"It's great news," he said. "We have high unemployment in Windsor so that helps lower that, but it's also great news because we know there is a nine to one spin-off [for each job]."