Chrysler Group LLC celebrated the launch of production on Jan. 7 of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger as well as the 2011 Dodge Challenger at its Brampton (Ontario, Canada) Assembly Plant.
The vehicles are three of the 16 new or significantly refreshed products the company debuted last year.
"The launch of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger demonstrates how far this company has come in 18 months," said Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne.
Chrysler has invested more than U.S. $1 billion since 2008 for the launch of the 300, Charger and Challenger for assembly, stamping, material handling and tooling.
In preparation for the launch of the all-new 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, employees began transforming the facility as part of World Class Manufacturing (WCM), an extensive and thorough process to restore all facilities to their original and maximum functionality. With the implementation of WCM, improvements include high-efficiency lighting, upgraded cafeteria, remodeled bathrooms and freshly painted colorful walls.
The company said the facility improvements have increased the morale of the nearly 2,900 employees working on two shifts and given them a new sense of purpose. As a result, employees felt empowered to offer more than 5,000 suggestions on other improvements that could be made throughout the plant.
The Brampton plant also invested $20 million to establish a Metrology Center onsite that would further improve quality. The tools within the Metrology Center are used to verify the capability of the vehicle's entire sheet metal structure to the smallest of tolerances, as small as a human hair. The aim is to identify possible deviations between the product and the process.
Another process used for the launch of the 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger vehicle design ,borrowed from Fiat, is a new roof laser braze process, which allows for a seamless transition from the roof to the door opening. Brampton Assembly invested nearly $12 million to be the first Chrysler plant to install this new technology. The laser braze process uses an intense laser-light beam to melt a piece of silicon wire, applied by four robots, into a predetermined location between the aperture and roof panel.