DETROIT — Plans to update an aging paint shop at Brampton Assembly Plant are on the table as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles bargains a new contract with Unifor, the union representing the automaker’s hourly workers in Canada, FCA’s CEO said last month.
Speaking to reporters at an event Aug. 26 in Sterling Heights, Mich., Sergio Marchionne said the paint shop in Ontario needs an upgrade. New paint shops, such as those FCA has built for its assembly plants in Sterling Heights and Toledo, Ohio, cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
“All plants require investments,” Marchionne said. “There are some structural issues that impact on Brampton about its long-term viability without additional investment, which are not product related. They relate to the longevity of the paint shop.”
FCA makes the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger and Challenger at Brampton.
The automaker, which spent billions on the Chrysler Pacifica and its plant in Windsor, Ontario, will talk to Unifor about Brampton’s future and what the plant must do to remain viable, Marchionne said. “The significant investment that’s required to make [Brampton] competitive and current — these are all issues that are on the table,” Marchionne said.
Unifor, which is in negotiations with all three Detroit automakers to replace contracts that expire Sept. 19, will chose a target company for pattern bargaining this week.