DETROIT Aug 6 Chrysler Group Chief Executive
Sergio Marchionne said on Wednesday the company has not resumed
talks with Canadian officials about financial support to help
upgrade a minivan plant in Windsor, but would entertain any
Chrysler had reportedly sought $700 million in government
support toward a $3.6 billion investment for the plant, but the
deal was scuttled when federal and provincial officials pressed
Chrysler on how much of its investment would be spent in
Ontario, it was reported in March.
Marchionne, who is also the CEO of Fiat, which owns
Chrysler, said on Wednesday that his company is already
investing in the Windsor plant without government funds.
Chrysler has said it will develop and produce its
next-generation minivan in Windsor, Ontario, but has not
detailed the scope or duration of that production work, nor how
much it will spend to re-tool the plant. It is unknown if the
company scaled back its investment after the government talks
A vocal opponent to any government incentives, Ontario
conservative leader Tim Hudak, was defeated in provincial
elections two months ago. The province's Liberal economic
development minister said on Wednesday that the government was
"always prepared" to talk with Chrysler.
Marchionne said on Wednesday the automaker could not hold up
"If in fact the federal government or the province of
Ontario think that there is a proposal that would be of interest
to Chrysler, I think we're more than willing to sit down and
discuss it," Marchionne said on an earnings conference call.
"But, today, I think the horse left the barn, and the
(Chrysler) investment is going into Windsor and that's all there
is to say."
Jerry Dias, president of the Unifor union, which represents
workers at the Windsor plant, said there is "no question" that
federal and provincial governments are interested in coming to
an agreement with Chrysler.
"I would expect that the provincial government is going to
reach out, but it's crystal clear that the provincial government
and the federal government have left the door wide open for
Chrysler," Dias said.
(Reporting by Susan Taylor in Toronto and Bernie Woodall in
Detroit; editing by Gunna Dickson)