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Posted on Friday, June 10, 2005 - 10:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IPPrint Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chrysler Group Manufacturing Productivity Gains Continue

Improvements set foundation for new products on the way to Australia
Company posts 19 per cent productivity improvement over three years
Transmission manufacturing is industry benchmark
Strategy for continued improvement is in place

The Chrysler Group has improved its overall manufacturing productivity by an industry-leading 19 per cent over the last three years, according to the Harbour Report North America 2005.

The company improved its overall hours per vehicle (HPV) time by 4.2 per cent to 35.85, tied for second most improved.

The annual Harbour Report is a broadly accepted measure of productivity in the automotive industry.

Nearly all major manufacturers participate in the survey. According to Ron Harbour, president, Harbour Consulting, Chrysler Group's manufacturing productivity is supported by improvements throughout the company.

"Unlike past recoveries, the Chrysler Group's new products are supported by some dramatic quality and productivity improvements at the plant level, linked to unprecedented involvement of the design, engineering and purchasing organizations," said Harbour.

Commenting on the strong result, Gerry Jenkins, managing director, Chrysler Jeep Australia, said: “Improvements in manufacturing productivity and business processes has set the foundation for the wealth of product on its way to Australia.

“The next six months promise to be exciting times for the Company with the Crossfire SRT-6 being launched this month, the all-new Grand Cherokee arriving in July and the award winning Chrysler 300C due in the fourth quarter,” said Jenkins.

Highlights in the Harbour Report for the Chrysler Group include transmission productivity being reported as the best in the industry and the Company's engine productivity was the most improved. Company plants were also the leader in five segments.

"Being number one in transmission productivity is a great example of our success. We will continue applying best practices across all of our plants to build on the initiatives that have led to this level of improvement over the last three years," said Frank Ewasyshyn, who leads the Chrysler Group's manufacturing efforts as Executive Vice President.

The Chrysler Group transmission productivity improved 4.6 per cent to 3.86 hours per transmission, the industry benchmark. And the Company's engine productivity was the most improved in the industry at 9.5 per cent, to 3.99 hours per engine.

For the first time, a Chrysler Group assembly plant scored in the top 10 overall. Belvidere Assembly placed seventh at 18.7 HPV. Also in assembly, all 10 (of 13 total) assembly plants that were not in product changeover improved in HPV.

Chrysler also demonstrated expertise in stamping operations. Belvidere (Ill.) and Toluca (Mexico) were among the top 10 stamping plants. Further, Sterling (Sterling Heights, Mich.) Stamping had the lowest average die changeover time in the major progressive press segment, and Toluca Stamping was tied for first in lowest average die changeover time in the transfer press segment.

The Harbour Report is one of several measures the Chrysler Group uses to measure its manufacturing operations. Other areas that are tracked by the company include safety, quality, delivery, and cost, all of which contribute to manufacturing performance.

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