Chrysler invests $1.4 billion USD since 2008 to prepare for launch of
Windsor Assembly Plant production grows 62 percent in 2010
Significant launches and investments in 2010 set foundation for Chrysler
Group in 2011
Chrysler Canada ends 2010 on a high note
Canadian minivan sales increase 37 percent
Plant embraces World Class Manufacturing (WCM)
WINDSOR, ON, Jan. 18 /CNW/ - Joined by Chrysler Group CEO Sergio
Marchionne, government officials and CAW leadership, employees at the
Windsor Assembly Plant (WAP) today celebrated the launch of production
of the new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country. The
vehicles are two of the 16 new or significantly refreshed products the
Company debuted last year.
Marchionne and Chrysler Canada President and CEO Reid Bigland, along
with Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Trade Sandra
Pupatello, Ontario Minister of Finance Dwight Duncan, Windsor Mayor
Eddie Francis, CAW President Ken Lewenza and other local officials,
recognized the importance of the plant, the workforce and the new
minivans to the future success of the Company during a ceremony at the
"The new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country remain key
parts of our revival plan," Marchionne told more than 1,200 employees
in the audience. "Our collective future is dependent on the success of
this plant and these vehicles. We're in this battle together. We must
continue to put our trust in each other and make a true, full-faith
effort to work together."
Marchionne also reminded employees that it was with the assistance of
the federal government of Canada and the Province of Ontario that
Chrysler has been given an 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 reenergized, restructured company
to emerge in June 2009," said Marchionne. "We recognize we have a moral
responsibility to fulfil our promises, justify these investments and
pay back every penny that was loaned to us."
In preparation for the launch of the new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and
Chrysler Town & Country, the Company has invested more than $1.4
billion USD since 2008 for assembly, stamping, material handling and
tooling as well as improvements to the Windsor paint shop. Windsor is
currently the only Chrysler Group assembly plant that operates on three
shifts with more than 4,400 employees.
"This is a proud day for Chrysler Group and the CAW as it launches two
new minivans, thereby preserving good manufacturing jobs in Canada,"
said Ken Lewenza, President, CAW. "Our commitment and effort over more
than 25 years have played an important role in the success of the Dodge
Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country."
Since June 2009, Chrysler Group has made significant progress toward
building a successful enterprise, including:
reporting an operating profit of $565 million USD 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 USD 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
announcing a $600 million USD investment in its Belvidere (Ill.)
confirming an investment of $850 million USD in its Sterling Heights
(Mich.) Assembly Plant and surrounding stamping facilities;
planning an investment of $150 million USD in its GEMA (Dundee, Mich.)
announcing an investment of $27.2 million USD in its Etobicoke Casting
Plant (Toronto) to produce front and rear crossmembers for future
Chrysler vehicles starting in the third quarter 2011;
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 2010, and the 2011 Chrysler 300, Dodge
Charger and Dodge Challenger in January;
announcing that it will invest $179 million USD to launch production of
the 1.4-litre, 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 and its
thirteenth consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases. 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
Additionally, the Dodge Grand Caravan was one of the country's Top Five
best selling vehicles. Altogether, Chrysler's minivan sales in Canada
grew by 37 percent in 2010. In fact, Chrysler Canada claimed 74
percent of the Canadian minivan market.
Production at the Windsor Assembly Plant also rose 62 percent last year
and overall, Chrysler's Canadian production rose 51 percent, making it
the number two manufacturer in the country in 2010.
World Class Manufacturing (WCM) Achieves Results in Windsor
In preparation for the launch of the new 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and
Chrysler Town & Country, employees at WAP began transforming the
facility as part of WCM, an extensive and thorough process to restore
all facilities to their original and maximum functionality.
The rollout of WCM began with putting more than 4,300 employees through
over 30,000 hours of training focused on the principles of WCM and how
to identify and attack waste and losses on the line. As a result,
employees have become more engaged with their work and submitted more
than 30,000 suggestions on how to improve the processes at the plant.
In fact, more than 3,000 employees at WAP have been involved in
suggestions and continuous improvement activities in 2010.
Additionally, WCM has helped eliminate unsafe conditions, with a 52
percent reduction in injury frequencies.
Another area of significant improvement has been the area of autonomous
maintenance. Workers take responsibility for cleaning and inspection of
equipment in order to eliminate breakdowns. In the body shop, this has
resulted in running over one year without a breakdown due to lack of
In the paint shop, employees restored the 12-year-old robotic sealer
application equipment to its original condition. The team then
benchmarked an idea from Fiat to incorporate clear plastic coverings to
catch small sealer drips to prevent the critical parts of the equipment
from getting dirty and thereby, avoiding future breakdowns.
In total, the implementation of WCM resulted in plant savings of more
than $46 million CDN in 2010.
Chrysler Invents the Minivan Market
Chrysler invented the modern minivan in 1983 with the Dodge Caravan and
Plymouth Voyager. The first luxury minivan, the Chrysler Town &
Country, debuted in 1989. Seventy-five minivan-first innovations and 13
million minivan sales later, the company still leads the way with the
best, most innovative vehicle to move people and things.
About the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country
The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country both benefit
from the all-new 3.6-litre Pentastar V-6 engine, which provides
best-in-class horsepower and more torque, with up to 2 miles per gallon
improved fuel economy (36 MPG Highway / 7.9L/100km). Both feature a
new fuel-economizer mode that helps maximize fuel efficiency.
Safety continues to be a top priority with more than 40 safety features
including a new driver-side knee blocker airbag, front seat-mounted
side airbags, side curtain airbags, electronic stability control and
tire pressure monitoring.
The newest innovation featured in the 2011 Grand Caravan and Town &
Country is the new industry-exclusive Super Stow 'n Go seating and
storage system, with larger, more comfortable seats and with a new,
easy to use one-touch fold down function.
Another new feature is the Stow 'n' Place™ roof rack system that lets
owners stow the roof bows in the side rails when they're not using them
and snap them easily into place when needed. This stow-ability results
in less aerodynamic drag and wind buffeting, and improved overall
efficiency. These newest models also offer a minivan-first heated
The Dodge Grand Caravan, the best-selling minivan for 27 consecutive
years in Canada, builds upon its leadership position for 2011. It
includes an all-new interior, improved ride and handling, improved
safety, new added value and enhanced versatility to make it the best
Grand Caravan ever.
Owners will step inside to an all-new world-class interior for 2011,
where premium soft-touch materials are abundant. A modern, new
one-piece instrument panel offers customers improved ergonomics and
larger, redesigned gauges. An available new "super" centre console
provides clever functionality and storage for the active commuter, as
well easy driver/passenger access with a pass-through storage space for
larger items, like a purse. A minivan-first heated steering wheel
option and the best storage in the segment round out the improved
The Chrysler Town & Country minivan has been completely refreshed for
2011 with a sleek, elegant exterior design. The new "face of Chrysler"
starts with a new front fascia and grille inspired by the all-new 300
and shared across all the new Chrysler brand vehicles. The Town &
Country also is the first vehicle to wear the new Chrysler brand winged
badge. A new hood, and projector-style front fog lamps round out the
exterior upgrades to the front, setting the expectation of elegance
when a customer first spots the vehicle. Also new for 2011 is the rear
liftgate with curved back glass, body-color rear spoiler, fascia and
liftgate scuff pad with bright stripe, rear light bar and new LED
taillamps. A chrome molding that runs across the entire length of the
vehicle connects to the bodyside molding to pull the whole package
The new world-class interior of the 2011 Chrysler Town & Country minivan
is beautifully crafted with high-quality materials that are soft to the
touch, and offers tech-savvy entertainment features and smart storage
and seating options, including the new, more comfortable Super Stow 'n
Go® seating with one-touch fold-down function.
The Uconnect system offers touch-screen and voice command for convenient
control of multiple media sources, navigation and hands-free phone.
Segment exclusive dual DVD entertainment and SIRIUS® satellite radio
help make this the ultimate luxury family vehicle.
About the Windsor Assembly Plant
The Windsor Assembly Plant was built in 1928. In 1939, a special
Chrysler royal convertible sedan was built for the 1939 Royal Tour and
thousands were shipped overseas. From 1925-1965, vehicles produced at
the plant included Plymouth two- and four -door sedans, Dodge hardtops,
DeSoto convertibles, Chrysler station wagons and club coupes.
Production of the Plymouth Valiant began in 1966 and concluded in 1975.
Production of the Chrysler Cordoba and Dodge Charger SE began in 1981.
Production of minivans began in 1983. The 2005 Chrysler and Dodge
minivans with Stow 'n Go® seating and storage system launched
production in January 2004, with Swivel 'n Go coming on board in 2007.
Chrysler Group celebrated the 12 millionth minivan sold in 2007.
Production of the Volkswagen Routan began in August 2008. Chrysler
Group recognized 25 years of minivan leadership in 2008. The 13
millionth minivan was sold in August 2010. The plant is currently the
only plant to operate on three shifts with more than 4,400 employees.
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, Chrysler 300 and Ram trucks.
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
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SOURCE Chrysler Canada Inc.
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