Prediction: Dodge Charger, Challenger output moved to Windsor

cleverness Production of chargers and Challengers at the Ontario assembly plant in Brampton is expected to end in 2024, but according to forecasting firm AutoForecast Solutions, both muscle car programs will remain in the province, while an electrified product from Jeep will take over their floor space in Brampton.

The next Chargers and Challengers will be built on Stellantisassembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, said Sam Fiorani, vice president of global vehicle forecasting at US-based AFS.

“They’re going to share the same platform with the next-generation minibus when it rolls around,” he told Automotive News Canada.

Stellantis confirmed in May that production of the Charger, Challenger and Chrysler 300 would end in Brampton by 2024, when the plant will pause for refurbishment. It also said the Windsor assembly plant would house STLA Large, a new vehicle platform primarily focused on battery-electric vehicles.

But the company has not disclosed future product mandates for Bramptonn or Windsor, and in the case of the Charger and Challenger, Stellantis has not officially confirmed whether the next-generation models are planned at all.

‘Move things’

AFS had originally predicted that the Charger and Challenger would be built at its Belvidere assembly plant in Illinois after 2024, but recent developments have sent the two programs back to Ontario, Fiorani said.

“Stellantis is moving stuff.”

AFS no longer has a product planned for Belvidere, but “we expect something to go into that,” Fiorani added.

The analyst predicts that the next-generation Charger and Challenger will be built exclusively in Windsor. They will likely be offered with battery-electric, hybrid and internal combustion engine powertrains, he said, but the models’ famed V-8 engines will most likely end up with the current generation.

With several Ontario plants deemed “life-supporting” in recent years, the new programs for Brampton and Windsor are positive developments for the Canadian automotive industry, Fiorani said.

“Now we have special vehicles that should last another five to ten years. So it is looking for all Canadian factories.”

Jeep in Brampton

Fiorani would not specify which Jeep model was planned for Brampton, but said it would be electrified and production would begin in 2024 or 2025.

“Placing a mainstream Jeep product at the Brampton plant will be so good for that community and Canada in general.”

Earlier this month, Jeep offered a first look at the brand’s two first all-electric products. The Wrangler-inspired Recon, along with a mid-sized crossover called the Wagoneer S, marks the beginning of the BEV era for Jeep in North America. Two more models will follow by 2024.

Jim Morrison, head of the Jeep brand in North America, said in a news conference on Sept. 7 that both new models will be built in North America, but wouldn’t get more specific.

When asked whether Ontario had a role to play in the electrification of Jeep, Morrison was noncommittal.

“It makes a lot of sense to have the Ontario LG . to use [Energy Solution] factory, joint venture we’re working on, but I’m not going to make any further announcements.”

In March, Stellantis and LG Energy Solution announced plans to build a $5 billion battery cell plant in Windsor. And in May, the automaker said it will spend $3.6 billion to build electric vehicles at its assembly plants in Brampton and Windsor. It has not assigned specific models to either plant, but said both are expected to return to three-shift operation as production of their new models ramps up.

Stellantis Canada spokeswoman LouAnn Gosselin declined to comment on the company’s product plans for Brampton or Windsor, or on the future of Charger and Challenger nameplates.

Workers in both cities are also waiting for the vehicles they will build.

Dino Chiodo, auto director at Unifor, which represents hourly workers at the two plants, said the company has not shared its product plans with the union. He expects Stellantis to provide more details when the two sides begin contract talks next year.

“I think there’s going to be huge opportunities to negotiate how things will roll out, and I think that’s probably going to be more in line with where allocations take place and how they happen.”

Regardless of which models land in the two factories, Chiodo said union workers will likely need new skills to assemble the electrified products.

“We are still in discussions to find out exactly what that looks like and how we can find the possibilities to provide that kind of training.”

Retooling in Windsor is scheduled to begin next year, with Brampton in 2024.

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