Chrysler Group LLC Hosts President Obama at its Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Complex
Employees greet President at home of iconic Jeep® Wrangler
President commends Chrysler’s Toledo workforce
June 3, 2011 , Toledo, Ohio
- A little more than a week after Chrysler Group LLC announced that it had paid off its government loans in full more than six years early, 350 UAW-represented employees at Chrysler Group LLC’s Toledo Assembly Complex (TAC), Company executives and elected officials welcomed President Obama to the home of the iconic Jeep® Wrangler.
The President visited the Chrysler Group plant today, which builds the 2011 Jeep Wrangler in an innovative manufacturing project with two supplier partners, to thank Chrysler employees for the role they played in the revitalization of the automotive industry and the resurgence of the Company.
Jeep Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited models have been rolling off the line as part of a unique manufacturing arrangement since August 2006. At the time, three supplier partners managed and operated major parts of the vehicle production process from neighboring facilities within the Toledo plant footprint, including body, chassis and paint. Chrysler Group has the responsibility for the final trim and assembly operations of the plant and, in the first quarter of 2011, also assumed responsibility for the paint operations. The body and chassis assembly are still managed by supplier partners KUKA Group and Hyundai Mobis-owned Ohio Module Manufacturing Company (OMMC), respectively.
When announced, the co-location project between the three supplier partners and Chrysler Group in Toledo was part of a $2.1 billion total program investment.
Since June 2009, Chrysler Group has invested more than $3 billion in its U.S. facilities and has made significant progress toward building a successful enterprise, including:
reporting a profit of $116 million in the first quarter of 2011;
reporting the 14th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases in May;
investing nearly $1.3 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 Assembly Plant;
confirming an investment of $850 million in its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and surrounding stamping facilities;
planning an investment of $150 million in its GEMA (Dundee, Mich.) facility;
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;
announcing in December 2009 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.
adding a second shift of production – or nearly 1,100 jobs – at its Jefferson North Assembly Plant;
announcing that it would add nearly 900 jobs on a second shift at its Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in the first quarter of 2011;
launching the all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee in May 2010;
beginning production of the all-new Fiat 500 in December 2010;
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.
The President’s Visit to the Wrangler Plant
Upon arrival at the 1.5-million-square-foot assembly plant, the President was greeted by Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler Group LLC; Vice President and Director, UAW Chrysler Department General Holiefield; and Director of UAW Region 2B Ken Lortz. Escorted by Plant Manager Mauro Pino and UAW Local 12 Committeeman Walt Schweifert, the President then toured the trim line where the front end, instrument panel and center console are installed in the Jeep Wrangler and talked with employees.
The President was introduced by Toledo Assembly Complex employee Jill Opial, 37, who has worked at the plant for 17 years. Opial thanked the President for having faith in auto workers and for giving Chrysler the opportunity to reorganize. Following his remarks, the President shook hands with employees as they departed the Chrysler Group paint shop.
About the 2011 Jeep Wrangler
Jeep continues to refine the successful Wrangler formula by combining its legendary, benchmark capability with an all-new interior that delivers rich styling with significantly upgraded touch surfaces, occupant comfort and versatility, and a premium appearance courtesy of an all-new body-color hard top for the popular Sahara model.
The 2011 Jeep Wrangler interior highlights include a redesigned instrument panel and new storage areas with improved ergonomics and upgraded materials. A new lockable console and upgraded door armrest areas boast comfortable touch points, while a redesigned center stack is easier to reach and operate. Heated, power mirrors are now available, and drivers and passengers will enjoy enhanced visibility courtesy of larger rear windows.
About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 from a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group’s culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat’s complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group’s product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Challenger and Ram 1500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.