DaimlerChrysler drops Ontario plant plans

DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler unit said yesterday that it has cancelled plans to build a new assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario. Chrysler group president & CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a press release that the manufacturing facility will not be built because of business viability issues. The plant was to primarily build a new small-sized pickup, the M80, which was to compete with similar models from Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. "The state of the automotive market has created a formidable hurdle, especially for a small, entry-level vehicle such as the one we were considering," Zetsche said "Additionally, competitive pricing, ongoing incentives and increasing overcapacity in North America led us to conclude that this is not the time to add new capacity." "We're incredibly angry and frustrated," Canadian Auto Workers president Buzz Hargrove said during a press conference today. Hargrove blamed the Canadian government for DaimlerChrysler's action. He also said the auto maker "promised" to build the $1.6-billion factory in Windsor.

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