Chrysler Group Announces Sebring Convertible Production
|Topics: Chrysler Sebring
June 6, 2007
The Chrysler Group recently announced that the production of the new 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible has started at the company’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. The Sebring Convertible will be manufactured alongside the Sebring Sedan and the 2008 Dodge Avenger.
The said production facility is equipped with the Chrysler Group’s Flexible Manufacturing Strategy. This production technique allows Chrysler to manufacture different auto models in a single assembly line. This strategy is now being used by other Chrysler assembly plants to help the company streamline their production process.
“We are seeing a great deal of success at the Sterling Heights facility due to the commitment of our plant employees,” says Chrysler Group Executive Vice President for Manufacturing Frank Ewasyshyn. “Their willingness to support and foster a small-team workplace model has delivered a successful third-vehicle launch,” he added.
Last year, Chrysler retooled the Sterling Heights Stamping plant to make it possible for the assembly facility to manufacture different auto models. The process, of course, is complex since different car models have different components size. Even EBC Greenstuff brake pads are manufactured in a different assembly line apart from other brake system components. To make flexible manufacturing a reality, Chrysler earmarked $500 million for the retooling of the said assembly facility.
The American car manufacturer also increased the quality of their vehicles by allocating funds towards the upgrading of their machineries. Aside from those upgrades, Chrysler also allocated $278 million for overhauling the body shop at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. The paint shop and assembly areas of the manufacturing facility were also improved. Welding and material-handling robots are also added to the plant as part of the upgrades.
“With our Flexible Manufacturing Strategy, the assembly operation now has the capability to build multiple upper bodies and multiple vehicle families, allowing the flexibility to add new models or "cross-load" models from other plants in order to better meet market dynamics,” says Robert Bowers, the Plant Manager of the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant.
Apart from the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant, Chrysler also upgraded the Belvidere Assembly Plant to have the same capability as the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. These manufacturing facilities will be the templates of other Chrysler assembly facility as the car manufacture plans to use the Flexible Manufacturing Strategy in its assembly facilities.
“In addition, the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant can weld and assemble more than one product on the same line. These new capabilities will support the Company's pursuit of product leadership by providing flexibility and increase distinction between the Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge brands,” says Bowers.
The FMS used by the Chrysler Group is a way for the company to produce more vehicles in less time and at a lower cost. This will enable the company to focus on speedily reacting to the demand of car buyers. The ability to produce different auto models in a single assembly line will also help the company save on energy consumption. The company is now taking steps to make their assembly plants capable of producing more than one auto model in an assembly line. This ability to make different car models in one assembly line is made possible by the 620 new robots that Chrysler has equipped the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant with.
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