Parts Bin: Temporary Wrangler Plant Closure; Daimler/Chrysler Feud Reignites

Chrysler will temporarily shut down its Toledo Supplier Park plant, which produces the Jeep Wrangler, because of a parts shortage, Automotive News reports.

“The shutdown is due to the continued stress in the automotive supply chain,” a statement from the company said. A company spokesperson would not name the supplier.

Dan Henneman, who is chair of UAW Local 12 in Toledo, told Automotive News that parts shortages were not infrequent at the Wrangler plant. The plant employs roughly 1200.

Chrysler is also facing renewed supplier issues with Daimler. The two are having a dispute over parts that could threaten Chrysler’s important product launches in 2010,The Detroit News reports.

Models possibly affected include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, and Dodge Durango and Charger. The 300 and Charger are the automaker’sonly completely new passenger vehicles for the 2010 model year.

Daimler supplies parts for all of the vehicles, but has yet to finalize the contracts. Chrysler cannot build early prototypes without the parts, and may have to postpone testing, which would in return postpone vehicle launch dates. Chrysler says no other parts suppliers can meet the deadline, according to The Detroit News.

The situation is a similar to what happened in August, when Chrysler sued Daimler for refusing to ship engines, torque converters, and steering columns.

Both companies are pointing fingers. Apparently, the issue stems from an agreement involving Chrysler buying diesel engines from Daimler. Per The Detroit News, Chrysler fell short on its purchases, and Daimler wants $80 million in reparation. Chrysler argues that its bankruptcy ended all contracts, and that it doesn’t owe a dime. Daimler says the bankruptcy was simply a tool to alter existing contracts.

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