Windsor, Ontario – Chrysler’s assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario has begun production of minivans for international markets. The facility’s flexible manufacturing system enables it to produce diesel and right-hand drive models on the same line as left-hand drive and gasoline minivans.

Called the Chrysler Grand Voyager in markets outside North America, the minivan is sold in more than 80 countries. Chrysler first began offering right-hand drive versions in 1997 for markets such as the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore and the Philippines. For international markets, the model comes with an optional 2.8-litre common-rail diesel engine, which accounts for approximately 90 per cent of sales in some European countries.

“In spite of an extremely challenging first half-year, Chrysler is continuing to invest in Canada,” said Reid Bigland, president and CEO of Chrysler Canada. “In July we announced that we will retain the third shift at the Windsor Assembly Plant. Today, we are stepping up our commitment by expanding the products we build at the plant and preserving jobs in Ontario and Canada.”

The Windsor plant was constructed in 1928 and began minivan production in 1983. It employs 4,627 workers and remains Chrysler’s only auto assembly plant operating on three shifts. Chrysler has sold more than 21 million minivans worldwide in the last 25 years, including 6.1 million in Canada, and in 2008 it sold 21,513 outside North America.

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