This week, the Chrysler group offered a perfect example of the ups and downs of the car business.
Three of Chrysler's U.S. assembly plants are idled because of slow sales. That includes the St. Louis factory that builds minivans, plus two Detroit area facilities that assemble Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Sebring models and the Dodge Viper. Once upon a time, there was a waiting list for Vipers.
Meanwhile, Chrysler execs are trying to squeeze more production out of the plant in Brampton, Ontario, that builds Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum models, which are still selling very well.
One option being considered by Chrysler management would be to add a shift at Brampton. Another option might be to add production of the hot-selling models at another plant.
But that could be a bad investment if sales don't hold up.
There also has been talk that Chrysler 300C Touring station wagons, which are sold only in Europe, might be assembled in Austria by Magna Steyr, an independent coachbuilder. Magna Steyr already assembles Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler Voyager models there.
That would free up more of Brampton's output of Chrysler 300 sedans and Magnum wagons for North America.
Sometimes you're hot, sometimes you're not.