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Chrysler Group’s Kokomo Transmission Plant Awarded Bronze Designation in World Class Manufacturing

Becomes eighth North American Plant to earn bronze and highest ranking transmission plant
Ranking rewards improvements in safety, quality and productivity
WCM implementation has saved the Company more than $1 billion since June 2009


December 5, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

Chrysler Group LLC’s Kokomo Transmission Plant (KTP) has been awarded bronze status for its results in implementing World Class Manufacturing (WCM). The Kokomo, Ind., transmission plant becomes Chrysler Group’s eighth North American facility to achieve the WCM award milestone and the Company’s highest ranking transmission plant.

KTP, which produces the new fuel-efficient eight- and nine-speed transmissions for various models in the Chrysler Group portfolio, received the bronze designation just over four years after adopting the WCM operating system following a two-day audit Dec. 4-5, 2014. Bronze is awarded after earning a minimum of 50 points in 10 technical and 10 managerial pillars by demonstrating clear WCM know-how and competence through employee-conducted pillar presentations and a review of projects that have been expanded across the shop floor. KTP earned a score of 51.

“KTP has gone through significant change since 2009 as it prepared to launch production of the all-new eight- and nine-speed transmissions. Through it all, the KTP employees remained focused on implementing World Class Manufacturing and have been acknowledged for those efforts today with the awarding of bronze,” said Brian Harlow, Vice President and Head of NAFTA Manufacturing, Chrysler Group LLC. “We are proud of the commitment demonstrated by our employees and the support received from the UAW, which has been critical in making Chrysler Group’s manufacturing facilities among the best in the world.”

World Class Manufacturing is a methodology that focuses on reducing waste, increasing productivity, and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. WCM engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants. WCM was first implemented by Fiat in 2006 and introduced to Chrysler Group as part of the alliance between the two companies in June 2009. Since that time, the Company has saved more than $1 billion in controllable manufacturing costs as a result of the implementation of WCM.

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 100 would indicate World Class.

KTP has been the recipient of five investments over five years totaling over $1.5 billion for the production of the new transmissions. KTP began producing the eight-speed transmission in September 2012. In 2013, KTP produced nearly 300,000 eight-speeds. That number has more than doubled to nearly 700,000 in the first 11 months of 2014. Currently, the eight-speed transmission is available on the Jeep® Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango and Ram 1500. The Company sold more than 800,000 of these models in the U.S. through November 2014.

In addition to KTP, six other facilities currently hold bronze awards - Toledo Assembly Complex (Ohio), Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant (Mex.), Dundee Engine Plant (Mich.), Trenton Engine Complex (Mich.), Warren Stamping (Mich.) and Indiana Transmission Plant II (Ind.), which just earned bronze in October. The Windsor Assembly Plant (Ont.), which was the first assembly plant to receive a bronze designation in 2012, was awarded silver in March 2014, making it Chrysler Group’s highest ranking plant in North America.
 
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