FCA Ends Production Of The Chrysler 200
Production of the Chrysler 200 officially ends today, closing what was a long and ambiguous death watch that began in January when Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne hinted that the sedan–along with the smaller Dodge Dart–would not be replaced.
FCA previously suggested it was searching for a partner to build the 200, but the discussion fizzled and led to layoffs and a temporary shutdown at the automaker’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan where the sedan was produced.
Poor sales led to the 200’s demise as consumers continue to flock to crossovers and trucks. Chrysler sold 54,651 200 sedans through November of this year, a staggering 65-percent drop compared to the same period in 2015.
Moving forward, Sterling Heights will be retooled to build the next-generation Ram 1500 pickup truck. The Detroit News reports that most of the plant’s 1,700 remaining employees will be placed on a temporary layoff during the retooling, which is expected to last through most of 2017. Some workers will remain to help with the plant’s renovation.
FCA is reportedly investing $1.48 billion into the plant and says it’ll add new employees to help build the new Ram 1500. Speculation suggests the facility will employ at least 4,600 workers once it reopens.
It’s still unclear when production of the next-gen Ram 1500 will begin, though the automaker has previously suggested it would go on sale by early 2018. The Ram 1500 is currently produced at the automaker’s Warren Truck Assembly, which will reportedly be retooled to build the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and upcoming Grand Wagoneer.