Chrysler is deciding whether to add a third shift at the Warren Truck Plant, where the 2012 Ram 1500 is being built, to meet current and predicted growing demand. Operations at the Michigan assembly plant will soon morph into building the significantly upgraded 2013 Ram 1500.
Reid Bigland, CEO of the Dodge brand and head of U.S. sales, noted that much of the decision hinges on some of the suppliers and their ability to boost output, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Sales numbers have been good and seem to be improving for the half-ton Ram, and there are high expectations for the 2013 model. But decisions like this need to be seriously considered from many angles.
The 75-year-old plant is now running two full shifts and has been meeting increased demand with occasional overtime runs; however, adding another shift, which could add as many as 800 new workers, would mean Chrysler and Ram Truck executives would have to be sure about future demand and the strength of the U.S. economy to make that significant investment. Of course, they can't wait too long: Production of the 2013 model trucks is likely to start by September.