Dodge Nitro Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
23,865 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Fiat shake-up at Chrysler hits top gear



June 21 2009

Fiat is moving aggressively to put its stamp on Chrysler’s assembly plants even before they restart production following a two-month shutdown.

Rick Laporte, president of a Canadian Auto Workers union branch at Chrysler’s minivan plant in Windsor, Ontario, told members last week that Fiat, which now owns 20 per cent of Chrysler, was following the previous management in implementing a Toyota-style “world-class manufacturing system”.


The difference, according to Mr Laporte, “is the intensity in which Fiat is launching it . . . You will see it and feel it the first day back to work”.

Chrysler closed its plants during its court-supervised restructuring to bring down inventories and adjust to the departure of thousands of workers in the latest round of buy-outs.

Seven assembly plants are due to restart production next week, although they will shut again in July for the industry’s normal two-week summer break.

Sergio Marchionne, Fiat’s chief executive, who also took the reins at Chrysler as soon as the Detroit carmaker emerged from a court-supervised restructuring this month, has made a mantra of “world-class manufacturing”.

He has described the system, under which plants compete against one another, as “probably one of the highest examples of integrity that I can find . . .  Not only do I support it, but I want it. In no unmistakable terms, I want it.”

Underlining Mr Marchionne’s sense of urgency, Mr Laporte said: “Fiat has stressed with us that they will remove the barriers in their way, including members of management who do not change their old ways”.

He added that “Fiat management stressed (at a recent meeting with the union) they have removed 100% of management in some facilities”.

Leon Rideout, president of a CAW branch at a Chrysler car plant near Toronto, said changes included enlarging assembly-line teams from six to 10 workers. One Chrysler manager described Fiat’s approach as “very data-driven”.

A group of Chrysler managers has already visited Fiat plants abroad, returning to Detroit with instructions to train their colleagues in Fiat production processes. Chrysler named a head of “world class manufacturing” on Friday as part of the second management shake-up under Fiat.

Mr Marchionne told the Financial Times in an interview last month: “The problem is never with the blue collar – with the people running the business day to day. It’s the people at the top of the structure.”

He announced the first shake-up of Chrysler’s management on the same day that the alliance between the two carmakers was finalised, putting in place a flatter structure that mirrors Fiat’s in Italy.

Some senior Chrysler managers have departed, some have been promoted and three Fiat staffers reporting directly to Mr Marchionne have been brought in from Turin.

Some industry experts doubt Mr Marchionne can replicate Fiat Auto’s success in Detroit, where Chrysler’s brand equity and operations have been eroded as it shrank over the last two years.

Chrysler’s unions have agreed not to strike until at least 2015 as part of the conditions of the bail-out provided by the US and Canadian governments.

LINK:FT.com / Companies / Automobiles - Fiat shake-up at Chrysler hits top gear
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
229 Posts
That sounds promising.

Lets hope for the best.

He makes a great point: “The problem is never with the blue collar – with the people running the business day to day. It’s the people at the top of the structure.”
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
23,865 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That is so true! I have always said that if it is easier for a Employee to make a mistake than to do something right, it is Managements fault! I use that all the time when I have an issue with a business. They usually don't agree however, blaming their Employee or their company computer for the error and fail to address the real problem, Management.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top