DaimlerChrysler AG has given up plans for a new assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, but it one day may revive the concept of a flexible facility that will rely heavily on supplier support.
The slowing economy cut into the feasibility of a new plant, Dieter Zetsche, president and chief executive officer of DaimlerChrysler's Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Chrysler Group, said during a May 22 news conference in Auburn Hills.
``While positive things were happening, the world around us changed,'' he said. ``We could not find the business case that would justify the investment.''
The German-American automaker announced plans for the Windsor plant in October, including a proposal for an equity investment by key suppliers that would take responsibility for much of the production.
The company received promises of worker flexibility from members of the Canadian Auto Workers, assistance from local and provincial officials and enough interest from suppliers to make the concept work, Zetsche said.
But with auto sales slowing, production costs increasing, manufacturing overcapacity and the price of competing in North America going up, Chrysler had to give up its plans. It may, however, look at bringing a similar project forward in the future, again looking to extensive commitments from suppliers.
``Very clearly, we would like to take the business model into the future,'' he said.