The Chrsyler Group is pumping $1 billion into its two St. Louis assembly plants that build Dodge Ram pickups (St. Louis North) and the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans (St. Louis South).
Part of this significant capital investment will provide St. Louis South with the capability to manufacture multiple types of vehicles on one line. St. Louis South will be the third Chrysler Group assembly plant to implement a fully robotic body shop, giving it the ability to automatically adjust to build multiple models within cycle time.
Equipment, facility and process changes will begin in 2006 as the plants continue to build Dodge Rams, and Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans. The investment also is expected to reduce new-model changeover downtime.
Year-to-date Dodge Ram sales through 30 November are down 6% from the prior year, from 392,508 to 369,565. For November alone, sales dropped 15% on a day sales rate basis, 11% on a straight volume basis from November 2004: from 28,862 to 25,667.
Combined year-to-date sales othrough 30 November of the Town & Country and Caravan minivans have climbed 8%, however, to 372,568 from 345,343 the year before.
The Ram and the minivans together account for 35% of total Chrysler Group sales to date in 2005.