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FCA Sterling Heights Assembly Joins the Ranks of Bronze Plants in World Class Manufacturing
  • Michigan truck plant becomes 24th North American facility to achieve bronze in World Class Manufacturing methodology
  • Plant launched production of all-new Ram 1500 truck in 2018
  • Award recognizes progress toward becoming World Class


October 18, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

The FCA Sterling Heights Assembly Plant has been awarded bronze status for its efforts in implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM), the Company’s manufacturing methodology. It becomes the 24th North American facility to reach the milestone award.

The suburban Detroit truck plant, which launched production of the all-new Ram 1500 in 2018, earned bronze after receiving a minimum of 50 points in 10 technical and 10 managerial pillars following a two-day independent audit held on Oct. 16 and 17. The plant demonstrated clear WCM know-how and competence through employee-conducted pillar presentations and a review of projects implemented across the shop floor. The designation recognizes the long-term commitment of a workforce to making significant changes that can secure the future of a facility.

“The path to achieving this award has been full of twists and turns for the Sterling Heights workforce, but through it all, they have persevered and demonstrated a commitment to ensuring their future through the implementation of WCM,” Jorge Lares, Head of Manufacturing, FCA North America, said. “Reaching bronze confirms their understanding of the WCM methodology and their dedication to implementing best practices that improve the overall quality and safety in the plant. Our Sterling Heights workforce is to be commended for embracing WCM as a way of life.”

WCM, first implemented by Fiat in 2006 and introduced to Chrysler Group as part of the alliance between the two companies in June 2009, is a methodology that engages the employees to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants, promoting a strong sense of ownership. Plants awarded for their efforts also have a role in accelerating the implementation of WCM throughout the organization as coaches and mentors.

During an audit, zero to five points are awarded for each of the 10 technical pillars, which include safety, workplace organization, logistics and the environment, and for each of the 10 managerial pillars, such as management commitment, clarity of objectives, allocation of people, motivation of operators and commitment of the organization. A score of 85 would indicate World Class.

Currently, there are 10 North American plants that hold a silver designation, having been elevated from bronze after receiving a minimum of 60 points during an audit. Silver is awarded to plants that have taken a preventative approach to implementing the WCM methodology throughout the facility. The silver plants are:
  • Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant
  • Dundee (Michigan) Engine Plant
  • Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Complex
  • Saltillo (Mexico) South Engine Plant
  • Mack Avenue (Detroit) Engine Plant
  • Saltillo (Mexico) Van Assembly Plant
  • Warren (Michigan) Stamping
  • Toledo (Ohio) Machining
  • Sterling Stamping (Sterling Heights, Michigan)
  • Tipton (Indiana) Transmission Plant
In addition to Sterling Heights, there are 13 other facilities that hold the WCM bronze designation:
  • Saltillo (Mexico) Truck Assembly
  • Toluca (Mexico) Assembly
  • Trenton (Michigan) Engine Complex
  • Brampton (Ontario) Assembly
  • Indiana Transmission Plant II (Kokomo, Indiana)
  • Belvidere (Illinois) Assembly
  • Kokomo (Indiana) Transmission Plant
  • Indiana Transmission Plant I (Kokomo, Indiana)
  • Kokomo (Indiana) Casting
  • Warren (Michigan) Truck Assembly
  • Jefferson North (Detroit) Assembly Plant
  • CPK Interiors, Port Hope (Ontario)
  • Etobicoke (Ontario) Casting
About the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant
The Sterling Heights Assembly Plant was built in 1953 as a jet engine plant and was operated by the Army as the Michigan Ordinance Missile Plant with Chrysler serving as contractor, building Redstone and Jupiter missiles. It was converted to an automobile plant in 1980 by Volkswagen and purchased by Chrysler Corporation in 1983.

In June 2009, the Company announced that the plant would close at the end of 2010, however production was extended through 2012.

Then in July 2010, FCA announced that SHAP would remain open indefinitely and add a second shift of production. Five months later, an $850 million investment was announced to construct an all-new, state-of-the-art paint shop, as well as install new machinery, tooling and material-handling equipment to produce the Chrysler 200. Nearly a year later, the plant received another $165 million investment to add a new body shop. The 200 launched in March 2014, but by 2016, market demand was shifting away from cars to utility vehicles and the plant returned to a one shift operation in July 2016. The last 200 rolled off the line on Dec. 2, 2016.

On July 26, 2016, FCA announced that it would invest $1.48 billion to retool the plant to build the next generation Ram 1500 and support the future growth of the Ram brand. Two months later, the Company confirmed that it would create 700 new jobs to support production of the new truck, which officially launched in March 2018.

The plant's new body shop received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Green Building System certification in July 2015 for meeting the highest environmental standards.

Sterling Heights employs nearly 7,800 people working a 3-2-120 operating pattern – three crews working four 10-hour days on two shifts for 120 production hours per week.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Vehicle Test Track at FCA's New Assembly Plant in Detroit


Nov 20, 2019

A new test track is taking shape at our new assembly plant in Detroit. Once complete, the 95,000-square-foot facility will validate that all vehicles rolling off the line are free of buzzes, squeaks and rattles before they ship to customers.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
We Are Thankful

•Nov 27, 2019


FCA is thankful for being part of Detroit community. #FCA4Detroit
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Historic Detroit power plant demolished to aid Jeep factory

December 13, 2019



DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit power plant that was more than 100 years old was demolished Friday to accommodate a Jeep factory.


Explosives were used to bring down the Conners Creek plant near the Detroit River on the city's east side. The plant, which belonged to DTE Energy, started in 1915 as a coal-fired operation but was later converted to natural gas. It was retired in 2008.
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Discussion Starter #45
Highest structural beam placed on Fiat Chrysler's new Detroit plant

Dec. 13, 2019

Detroit's first new auto assembly plant in nearly 30 years on Friday got its Christmas tree — a nickname for a new building's highest structural beam.



The top-most steel beam of 299 at Fiat Chrysler Automobile NV's plant on Detroit's east side was put in place with an actual evergreen on top to mark the successful and safe completion of the job. The milestone comes four months after the first beam was in put in place.

The $1.6 billion project is transforming the former Mack Avenue Engine Complex into an assembly plant for the next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and a new three-row, full-size Jeep SUV. It will employ 3,850 people. The vehicles are expected to begin rolling off the line by the end of 2020.

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Discussion Starter #46
Christmas Tree Atop New FCA Plant Marks More than Just the Holidays




December 13, 2019 , Detroit - FCA today raised a Christmas tree to “top off” the new paint shop being built as part of a $1.6 billion investment to construct a new assembly plant on Detroit’s eastside.

While most recognize the evergreen tree as a classic symbol of the holiday season, for the ironworkers who spent the past four months assembling 6,500 tons of structural steel, it means something very different.

A long-standing tradition, the raising of a Christmas tree – or construction tree, as it is also known – marks the placement of the highest beam or structural element of a building. It also symbolizes that the construction milestone was reached safely, without serious injury.

“In ancient times, the tree was an announcement to the community to come and celebrate the completion of the new building, a tradition that is continued today,” said Joseph Panyard, FCA Project Manager for the new Detroit paint shop. “The last piece of steel for our project was painted white and signed by all of the ironworkers who have worked tirelessly on this project.”

In February, FCA announced the investment to build the first new assembly plant in Detroit in nearly 30 years, bringing 3,850 new jobs to the city. The new plant will produce the next-generation Jeep® Grand Cherokee and all-new, three-row, full-size Jeep SUV, along with their electrified models.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
FCA Aims to Keep Dreams of Homeownership Alive: Funds $1.8 Million Home Repair Grant Program for Detroit’s Eastsiders


December 17, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA has completed the transfer of $900,000 to the City of Detroit’s Housing & Revitalization Department (HRD) — the first tranche of a $1.8 million commitment — to fund a home repair grant program for homeowners on the City’s east side. The program, one component of the Community Benefits Agreement FCA signed in May, provides eligible homeowners living near FCA’s new assembly plant on Mack Avenue with grants of up to $15,000 per property to invest in home repairs.

“Home ownership has widely been considered a part of the ‘American Dream’,” Mark Stewart, Chief Operating Officer, FCA North America, said. “We want to help our neighbors keep their dreams alive by providing them with an opportunity to invest in their homes.”

In a departure from similar programs, the FCA-funded home repair program is tailored to the needs of individual homeowners and, most importantly, homeowners are not required to repay the (non-cash) grants.

“This is the type of opportunity, along with the jobs we’re bringing to the city, that will help this community continue to grow and thrive for many years to come,” Stewart added.

The initial phase of the grant program kicked off in mid-August with homeowners on Beniteau Street (between Kercheval Avenue and Warren Avenue). A HRD inspector is working with homeowners to determine which repairs are a priority and is bidding work out to a list of pre-qualified contractors. It is anticipated that owner-occupied homes in the neighborhood surrounding FCA’s new assembly plant will have the opportunity to apply to receive a home repair grant this spring. Details on this process will be made available through HRD.

"One of the most important ways to keep our neighborhoods healthy is to preserve our existing housing stock. Unfortunately, many necessary repairs, such as roof replacement and furnaces, are cost prohibitive for residents,” Nicole Wyse, Associate Director, HRD said. “The FCA-funded program will enable homeowners to address these repair issues that otherwise would have been prolonged and continue to live comfortably in their homes.”

Following weeks of public meetings with residents in the neighborhoods around the Mack plant, FCA and the City of Detroit committed to a Community Benefits Agreement, which provides more than $35 million in support for neighborhood improvements, housing, workforce development, education and training programs, and environmental initiatives. This commitment is above and beyond FCA’s $2.5 billion investment in the new assembly plant and creation of 4,950 new jobs, which will support production of an all-new three-row, full-size Jeep® SUV and next-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as plug-in hybrid versions with the flexibility to build fully battery-electric models in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Belvidere Chrysler plant to shutdown ‘to align production with demand’

Jan 9, 2020


BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — The Belvidere Assembly Plant is set to temporarily shut down to “align production with demand”, a company spokesperson confirmed Thursday.


The plant will close between January 13th and 20th, and will resume production on January 27th.


Workers will receive 90 percent of their pay during the shutdown.

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Discussion Starter #49
Fiat-Chrysler to invest $400M in new Kokomo engine plant


Jan 14th, 2020

NDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - The auto industry in Kokomo is getting a big boost, Governor Eric Holcomb announced during his State of the State address Tuesday.

Holcomb said Fiat-Chrysler plans to spend nearly $400 million on its facilities in Kokomo. The money would be put toward expanding and equipping a factory for production of a new engine, according to a release from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.


“Fiat Chrysler’s intentions to expand its presence in Indiana, creating more quality careers for Hoosiers in the process, is a testament to Indiana’s pro-growth business environment and talent pipeline, and I couldn’t be more grateful," the governor said.

The company plans to build the GMET4 engine at the new plant, the first time Fiat-Chrysler has built an engine in Indiana. More than 1,000 workers will be needed to staff the facility. Those positions would be filled by the end of 2021 with existing workers and new hires.

The release from the IEDC did not mention how many new jobs may be available.

“I am looking forward to working with FCA as we finalize this plan for this investment in our community," Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore said in the IEDC release. "Kokomo has always been a leader in making the best automotive products in the world. I appreciate FCA’s commitment to Kokomo as an employer and a community partner.”

Construction at the plant is scheduled to start later this year.

SOURCE
 
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