DETROIT -- One week after announcing it would open the St. Louis Dodge Ram plant, Chrysler Group LLC said today that it would idle the plant July 10 and keep it closed "contingent upon volumes."
The Ram factory in Fenton, Mo., will open June 29 as scheduled, along with six other Chrysler plants. But Chrysler will close the plant before the summer shutdown starts and work "with the UAW to address the manpower implications in a socially responsible manner," the company said today in a statement.
Chrysler had previously said it would close the factory in the third quarter. It plans to close five other plans in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin before the end of 2010.
Chrysler will offer its 1,200 St. Louis employees incentives to leave, along with opportunities to transfer to other Chrysler plants, the statement said.
After reopening seven plants from shutdown during its bankruptcy, Chrysler had said it would idle all of its plants the weeks of July 13 and July 20 for its summer shutdown to retool for 2010 models. The automaker had said the plants might open on a staggered schedule.
On June 1, Chrysler had 68,700 Rams in inventory, a 115-day supply. In addition to the Ram 1500s and 2500s built in St. Louis, Chrysler also assembles Ram 1500s at its Warren Truck plant in suburban Detroit. That plant is one of the seven reopening June 29.
Chrysler's factory in Saltillo, Mexico, makes Ram 2500s and 3500s and chassis for heavier Ram models, but that plant will open later, Chrysler said last week.
Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy on June 10 under a new management team controlled by Italian carmaker Fiat S.p.A., which holds an initial 20 percent stake in the Detroit automaker.
Reuters contributed to this report.