Chrysler Group LLC will shut down its four regional factories the weeks of July 12 and July 19 as the automaker switches over to begin manufacturing 2011 model-year vehicles.
The two-week summer shutdown affects employees at Chrysler's Toledo Assembly complex, where the Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro are manufactured, as well as its Toledo Machining plant in Perrysburg Township and the Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance plant in Dundee, Mich. Not shutting down is the Wrangler plant at the Toledo Assembly complex.
In all, about 5,500 Chrysler employees are affected, as well as thousands of others in parts and supplier plants elsewhere in the region.
The summer shutdown marks a return to a more traditional manufacturing schedule for Chrysler, a year after the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker exited from bankruptcy protection.
Last year, Chrysler employees were idled for two months or more as an expedited bankruptcy process rolled through the courts. Workers at the Wrangler plant returned to work June 29, 2009, while those at the plant making Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro SUVs went back to work at the end of July.
General Motors Co. reported last week that it will keep most of its North American assembly plants operating without a two-week summer shutdown this year because of increased demand for its products.
However, GM's Defiance Foundry will be down for two weeks this summer, GM spokesman Wanda Wellman said Monday. Last week, another GM spokesman said the powertrain plant was not shutting down this summer.
During the week of July 5, all departments in Defiance except Plant 1 Finishing will be down, with workers scheduled to return July 12, and workers in the plant's aluminum department to remain idled the week of July 12. The plant is also scheduled to shut down the week of Aug. 5, Ms. Wellman said.
GM's Toledo Powertrain has no scheduled shutdowns this summer.
- Larry P. Vellequette