Chrysler to ship minivans from Canada to Europe
November 4, 2008 - 12:01 am ET
WINDSOR, Ontario -- Chrysler LLC will begin assembling Europe-bound Chrysler Grand Voyagers in January, Benjamin Winter, Chrysler's chief minivan engineer, said today.
Chrysler officials said left-hand-drive versions of the Grand Voyager will be produced first, and right-hand-drive models will join the mix in March.
Chrysler officials discussed the move today at a ceremony celebrating the 25th anniversary of the production of the first Chrysler minivan.
The Chrysler Grand Voyager -- the European version of the minivan -- had been assembled since September 2007 at the automaker's St. Louis South plant, which was idled indefinitely on Friday. The previous generation of the Grand Voyager had been made for Chrysler by contract builder Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria.
Chrysler already is making the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan and Volkswagen Routan at its Windsor assembly plant. Windsor will resume operation on three shifts Nov. 10 after three weeks operating on two shifts.
The European Grand Voyager is virtually identical to the Chrysler Town & Country, But Chrysler offers a 2.8-liter diesel engine to European customers that is not offered in North America.
Chrysler's Windsor plant can make more than 1,400 minivans per day