Chrysler Group LLC Celebrates Production Launch of the All-New 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger at Brampton (Canada) Assembly Plant

  • 2011 Dodge Challenger also rolls off the line
  • Chrysler invests U.S. $1 billion since 2008 to prepare for launch of new vehicles
  • Significant launches and investments in 2010 set foundation for 2011
  • Chrysler Canada ends 2010 on a high note
  • Plant embraces World Class Manufacturing (WCM)

BRAMPTON, ON, Jan. 7 /CNW/ - Chrysler Group LLC celebrated the launch of production today of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger as well as the 2011 Dodge Challenger at its Brampton (Ontario, Canada) Assembly Plant (BAP). The vehicles are three of the 16 new or significantly refreshed products the Company debuted last year.

Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne and Chrysler Canada President and CEO Reid Bigland, along with the Ontario Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan, Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell, CAW President Ken Lewenza and other local officials, joined employees in recognizing the importance of the plant, the workforce and the all-new Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger in the future success of the Company.

"The launch of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger demonstrates how far this company has come in 18 months," said Marchionne. "The assistance of the governments of Canada and the Province of Ontario gave us the opportunity to create a future. Chrysler Group owes a deep debt of gratitude to taxpayers in Canada and the U.S. for the loans that enabled a vibrant, restructured company to emerge in June 2009.

"Along with the commitment, dedication and support of our CAW partners and employees, we are demonstrating what can be achieved when industry, government and labor recognize the need to come together."

The Company has invested more than U.S. $1 billion since 2008 for the launch of the 300, Charger and Challenger for assembly, stamping, material handling and tooling.

"This is an important day for Chrysler Group and the CAW as it launches two new products, thereby preserving good manufacturing jobs in Canada," said Ken Lewenza, President, CAW. "The strong relationship between our two organizations will contribute to the future success of Chrysler, our employees and the products we so proudly build."

Since June 2009, Chrysler Group has made significant progress toward building a successful enterprise, including:

  • reporting an operating profit of $565 million for the first three quarters of 2010;
  • reporting the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases in the U.S. in December;
  • investing nearly $1.2 billion into the Company's existing transmission manufacturing facilities in Kokomo, Ind., to accommodate production of a new advanced front-wheel drive automatic transmission; increase capacity and support production of the World Engine and improve processes for the 62TE transmission program; and accommodate future production of a new highly fuel-efficient eight-speed automatic transmission;
  • announcing a $600 million investment in its Belvidere (Ill.) Assembly plant;
  • confirming an investment of $850 million in its Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant and surrounding stamping facilities;
  • planning an investment of $150 million in its GEMA (Dundee, Mich.) facility;
  • adding a second shift of production - or nearly 1,100 jobs - at its Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant;
  • announcing that it would add nearly 900 jobs on a second shift at its Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant in the first quarter of 2011;
  • launching the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee in May;
  • launching production of the all-new 2011 Dodge Durango, Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger in December and;
  • announcing that it will invest $179 million to launch production of the 1.4-liter, 16-valve Fully Integrated Robotized Engine (FIRE) at the company's Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance (GEMA) plant in Dundee, Mich., creating more than 150 new Chrysler jobs.

Chrysler Canada Ends 2010 on a High Note
Chrysler Canada has played a vital role in helping the Company meet the goals outlined in November 2009. As it begins its 86th year, Chrysler Canada reported a sales increase of 26 percent in 2010, achieving the highest year-over-year sales growth in Chrysler Canada history. As a result, Chrysler Canada gained two percentage points of share - more than any other manufacturer - increasing its market share to 13 percent. Annual sales records were reported for the Dodge Grand Caravan and Ram pickup truck with the Dodge Journey being Canada's best-selling crossover.

World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Achieves Results in Brampton
In preparation for the launch of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, employees at BAP began transforming the facility as part of World Class Manufacturing (WCM), an extensive and thorough process to restore all facilities to their original and maximum functionality.

With the implementation of WCM, many improvements have been made to the Brampton plant, including high-efficiency lighting, upgraded cafeteria, remodeled bathrooms and freshly painted colorful walls. These facility improvements have increased the morale of the nearly 2,900 employees working on two shifts and given them a new sense of purpose. As a result, employees felt empowered to offer more than 5,000 suggestions on other improvements that could be made throughout the plant.

The Brampton plant also invested U.S. $20 million to establish a Metrology Centre onsite that would further improve quality. Used throughout the Fiat system, the 35,000-square-foot facility joins the Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant as one of the first Chrysler Group facilities and one of only a few Canadian automotive manufacturing facilities to utilize such technology.

The Metrology Centre employs more than 30 people, who are responsible for measurement and validation of the body geometry. The tools within the Metrology Centre are used to verify the capability of the vehicle's entire sheet metal structure to the smallest of tolerances, as small as a human hair. The aim is to identify possible deviations between the product and the process.

Another process used for the launch of the 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger vehicle design borrowed from Fiat is a new roof laser braze process, which allows for a seamless transition from the roof to the door opening. Brampton Assembly invested nearly U.S. $12 million to be the first Chrysler plant to install this new technology.

The laser braze process uses an intense laser-light beam to melt a piece of silicon wire, applied by four robots, into a predetermined location between the aperture and roof panel. This fully automated technology will give the new 300 and Charger the best-in-class sculptural appearance of many luxury vehicles, while improving customer quality and achieving optimal process cost reductions.

About the 2011 Chrysler 300
With more than 55 years of elegant proportions and head-turning style, the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 delivers contemporary styling with design details unexpected in the segment. At the front, an all-new grille features seven deeply sculpted horizontal blades that express precision. The liquid-chrome finish of the blades and the new Chrysler wing badge provide a unique contrast against the beautifully drawn bright chrome grille surround.

The profile of the all-new Chrysler 300 features the distinctive proportions of its predecessor with added design refinement for a more tailored appearance. Dramatic front-fender forms rise above the sculpted hood and are echoed by rear-quarter forms which rise above the deck lid and travel down the vertical taillamps for an unmistakably bold signature silhouette.

Combining world-class accommodations with American style, the all-new Chrysler 300's interior delivers expressive style, authentic materials, passenger comfort features and precise fit and finish. Substantial interior upgrades on the all-new Chrysler 300 consist of soft touch materials, premium interior trim, available heated and ventilated Nappa leather seats, and real wood appliques on the instrument panel, doors, center console and steering wheel.

About the 2011 Dodge Charger
With its iconic character, contemporary fastback four-door coupe proportions, world-class performance, craftsmanship and refinement, and state-of-the-art connectivity features, the all-new 2011 Charger is the Dodge brand's flagship that proudly delivers premium, world-class E-segment sedan precision at an incredible value.

The efficient and aerodynamic exterior of the 2011 Dodge Charger is spiritually inspired by the iconic second-generation Charger from the late 1960s, featuring a design that is sure to strike an emotional chord with Dodge performance enthusiasts of all generations.

Crafted in world-class materials, Charger's passengers are surrounded with comfort, craftsmanship and style, thanks to premium soft-touch materials and four available distinct interior color combinations.

Engineered to perform against the best E-segment sport sedans, the all-new 2011 Dodge Charger SE and Charger Rallye feature the new 3.6-liter Pentastar engine for world-class levels of power, refinement, technology and fuel efficiency. For maximum thrills, efficiency and best-in-class power, the new Dodge Charger R/T lineup features the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI™ V-8 engine with four-cylinder mode FuelSaver Technology.

About the Brampton Assembly Plant
The Brampton Assembly Plant sits on 269 acres in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, about 1.5 hours north of the world famous Niagara Falls. The building is approximately 3 million square feet and has its own stamping facility. The plant has nearly 33 miles of conveyors, more than 600 robots, 80 receiving docks and has the capacity to build more than 1,500 vehicles daily. Nearly 2,900 people work on two shifts at the Brampton plant, with more than 2,700 being represented by Local CAW 1285.

The facility was built in 1986 and acquired by Chrysler with the purchase of AMC in August 1987. The plant began production of the LH vehicles - the Dodge Intrepid, Eagle Vision and Chrysler Concorde - in June 1992. Production of a new Chrysler Concorde and Dodge Intrepid began in September 1997, followed by the Chrysler LHS and 300M in April 1998. Production of the award-winning Chrysler 300 launched in January 2004, with the Dodge Magnum following in February. Production of the Dodge Charger was launched in early 2005. The modern American muscle car, the Dodge Challenger with the 5.7-liter HEMI engine, was introduced in 2008.

About Chrysler Canada
Founded as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925, Chrysler Canada Inc. is based in Windsor, Ontario, and celebrates its 86th anniversary in 2011. Chrysler Canada's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Dodge Grand Caravan, Jeep® Wrangler and Chrysler 300.

Chrysler Canada is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chrysler Group LLC, one of the world's leading automotive companies. Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat Group, produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck and Mopar® vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler's culture of innovation - first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925 - and Fiat's complementary technology - from a company whose heritage dates back to 1899. Fiat will contribute world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-sized cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.

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