Well these Canadians know how to write an Article to grab your attention! What starts out as to how six-days just-in-time delivery schedule and overtime and halting production of the Pacifica was need to ramp up to full production to get the dealer pipeline filled with as many new Grand Caravans and Town and Country's to "four per cent of Canadians claim to be indulging in "sexual activities" during commuting time." It's all here. Read it yourself.
Everyone working OT to produce Chrysler RT
Chris Vander Doelen
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The launch of Chrysler's RT minivan program has put huge pressure on some suppliers and parts producers in the region, and the cracks are starting to show.
Suppliers not only had to quickly ramp up to full production in August, they had to meet a full, six-day just-in-time delivery schedule that included overtime Saturdays.
Then, in order to get the dealer pipeline filled with as many new Grand Caravans and Town and Countrys as quickly as possible, Chrysler decided to halt production of the Pacifica at Windsor Assembly, where the minivans are built.
Suspending the Pacifica sent one more minivan down the assembly line every five minutes. So suppliers had to suddenly produce and deliver 20 per cent more parts and sub-assemblies than the usual max OT (maximum overtime) schedule.
The result in some supplier plants, as employees' families have heard, has been mayhem. You won't hear many complaints, however: with the Big Three on the ropes, few will whine about being paid to work max OT these days. But some suppliers are in a state of barely controlled chaos as overworked staff are pushed to their limits.
In some, workers have told me, boxes, empty parts dunnage (big plastic containers) and litter clogs the floors because everybody's in such a panic at getting the product out the door.
At least one local supplier has been bringing a few staff in on double time on Sundays just to clean up the mess left over from a week of full-tilt production boogie.
One such plant: Integram Seating. This week in a Superior Court in Windsor, Justice Rene Pomerance read out a letter from Integram trying to get one of its engineers sprung from jury duty.
Integram asked that the juror be excused from duty for a lengthy murder trial because the company is experiencing "great difficulty" during the minivan launch and "needs her expertise."
The company said its engineering staff have been working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. The judge let her go -- although true compassion might have meant keeping her away from the crazy plant floor for a few weeks.
New, improved minivans tougher to build, too
Another complicating factor of meeting Chrysler's 2008 van production schedule is its complexity. The seats now have more parts, more motors, and more functions -- including the famous one, Swivel 'N Go.
That makes them tougher to build. They take more time to assemble. "They're way better seats -- the design, the stuff inside, the fabric," one worker told me. "You can feel it. It's better quality."
The average list price for a minivan in Canada dropped by $2,000 last model year, compared to 2006, says DesRosiers Automotive Consultants Inc.
The Thornhill, Ont., company, which tracks such things, says the average price for 2007 models was $27,693. Delivery charges, options and taxes were extra.
Canadians spending a lot more time commuting, study suggests
Residents of Windsor and Essex County, who are dodging more and more road construction detours these days, already know this, but now there's proof.
Canadian commuters are spending a lot more time in their cars these days, a new study says.
Sirius Canada, the subscription radio people, hired pollsters Angus Reid to do some research and they found 60 per cent of Canadians say their commute times have gotten longer in recent years.
Of the 2,005 people they polled, Quebecers reported the highest percentage of commuters travelling for more than 60 minutes: 29 per cent. Ontarians were second with 27 per cent travelling longer than 60 minutes.
Residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan enjoy the shortest commutes: 53 per cent travelling between 15 and 30 minutes.
Albertans paying the price of their latest oil boom reported the biggest changes. Sixty-nine per cent of them complained their commute times have increased.
Sirius, of course, thinks more of these endless commuters should subscribe to their 110 stations so they can increase their base of 300,000-plus subscribers in this country. The service, in an odd twist which is purely Canadian, is partially owned by CBC.
Sirius is available in Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, MINI, Pana-Pacific, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
The survey also uncovered some information about Canadian commuters you might not want to know. But too late: you've already read this far.
For instance, 16 per cent of drivers say they read e-mails and text messages while driving. And 20 per cent say they apply makeup. Since half the respondents were presumably male, that would mean nearly half of all female drivers take this risk.
Most disturbingly, four per cent of Canadians claim to be indulging in "sexual activities" during commuting time.
So that's why we see so many people with only one hand on the steering wheel.
BMW moving production of Z4 to Germany as part of centralization
BMW AG says it will stop building its Z4 convertible in the U.S. and will assemble the next generation of the car in Regensburg, Germany, BMW has announced.
The roadsters are currently assembled in Spartanburg, S.C.
The move, which will take place in 2009 or 2010, is aimed at centralizing the development and production expertise of particular vehicle types in BMW's plants, BMW Manufacturing Corp. says.