The auto maker is just reaching full-scale production of the new Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans at its St. Louis, Missouri, and Windsor, Ontario, Canada plants. The new models are scheduled for launch this fall. Because of reliance on parts from its U.S. plants, the Windsor plant would shut down within 24 hours of a strike by the UAW. So far the Windsor plant has produced 22,382 minivans, while the plant in St. Louis has produced 4,043 during its initial month. With total minivan sales of 446,578 in North America last year, the launch of the new minivans could be jeopardized by low volume if the strike isn't resolved quickly.
Fortunately for Chrysler, it was already carrying high levels of inventory for many of its other models, and could tolerate up to a two-week strike without significant loss. The company is already idling five assembly plants and an engine plant due to the overstock.