Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George Smitherman today announced that his organization would purchase 100 Dodge Grand Caravan minivans. The announcement came on the front steps of Chrysler's Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant where the vehicles are made.

"We're proud to work with the Windsor Chrysler plant to offer this made-in-Ontario economic solution," said Minister Smitherman. "It's one which brings health care and people together and also helps the province in the process."

During the tour of the plant, Smitherman was greeted by employees who worked to assemble the province's new vehicles. Upon the conclusion of the tour, Smitherman was even granted the opportunity to drive one of the 100 new Dodge Grand Caravan minivans off the assembly line.

"Many governmental agencies buy our great products and this is another great display of support by the Ministry of Health," said Ken Lewenza, President of CAW Local 444. "The men and women of Local 444 are building some of the best products in the world, and with this kind of support, we will continue to do so, long into the future."

"Today's announcement demonstrates how versatile these vehicles truly are. Dodge and Chrysler minivans are a source of tremendous pride for the employees of Chrysler Canada, as well as a symbol of quality manufacturing for Windsor, Ontario and all of Canada," said Marcel Breault, Windsor Assembly Plant Manager. "Windsor's CAW locals 444, 1498, 195 and ONA local 8 are a big part of this plant's success."

Production of the all-new minivans began in August 2007, following a $768 million (Can.) investment to the plant's manufacturing and paint operations. That investment provided extensive improvements to accommodate the new minivans' advanced production requirements and the Company's Smart Manufacturing methods.

The Government of Ontario committed a $76.8 million investment through the Ontario Automotive Investment Strategy to support the project, and the Canadian federal government committed $46 million. The investments are critical to ensuring the industry's competitiveness in a global marketplace.