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FCA US Tipton Transmission Plant Earns Bronze in World Class Manufacturing; Recognition Achieved in Record Time

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., July 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Tipton Transmission becomes fourth Indiana and 14th FCA North American facility to achieve milestone award
  • Award achieved in just over two years, the fastest of any North American plants
  • Award recognizes progress toward becoming World Class

The FCA US Tipton Transmission Plant has been awarded bronze status for its efforts to improve in World Class Manufacturing (WCM), becoming the fastest North American plant to receive this designation.

As the Company's newest plant, Tipton Transmission reached the bronze milestone just over two years after starting production of the new nine-speed transmission in April 2014. FCA US announced in February 2013 that it would acquire the existing Indiana facility and invest $162 million to establish a second assembly site for the nine-speed transmission, creating up to 850 new jobs. The facility now supplies transmissions for the Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler 200, Jeep® Cherokee, Jeep Renegade (produced in Italy at the Melfi Assembly Plant) and Ram ProMaster City (produced at the TOFAS plant in Bursa, Turkey).

Tipton was awarded bronze following a two-day audit on July 11 and 12 during which the plant earned 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 implemented across the shop floor.

This latest WCM recognition makes Tipton Transmission the fourth Indiana and 14th North American manufacturing facility to achieve bronze. Of the 14 plants, three have gone on to be awarded silver - Windsor Assembly Plant (Ont.) in March 2015, Dundee Engine Plant (Mich.) in May 2015 and Toledo Assembly Complex in May 2016.

"From the day the doors first opened, Tipton Transmission has been working diligently to not only build one of the most advanced transmissions on the market, but to implement World Class Manufacturing," said Brian Harlow, Vice President – Manufacturing, FCA North America. "As they established a new manufacturing location, launched production and on-boarded new employees, the Tipton workforce also challenged themselves to reach bronze in record time. Today's award recognizes their hard work and dedication to integrating WCM into all aspects of the plant's culture and achieving their goal. We extend our congratulations to all of the employees at our newest bronze plant."

The achievement of WCM award levels, as confirmed through independent audits, recognizes the long-term commitment of the workforce to making significant changes that can secure the future of a facility. Awarded plants also have a role in accelerating the implementation of WCM throughout the organization as coaches and mentors.

"Our UAW partners have embraced the WCM methodology, understanding that its implementation is essential to our long-term success," said Harlow. "The active participation of our hourly employees, through their ideas and input, is critical to making FCA US manufacturing facilities among the best in the world."

World Class Manufacturing is a methodology that focuses on eliminating 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, promoting a sense of ownership.

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. 

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.

In addition to the three silver plants, there are currently 10 facilities that hold the WCM bronze designation:

  • Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant (Mexico)
  • Saltillo South Engine Plant (Mexico)
  • Trenton Engine Complex (Mich.)
  • Warren Stamping Plant (Mich.)
  • Indiana Transmission Plant II (Ind.)
  • Kokomo Transmission Plant (Ind.)
  • Kokomo Casting (Mich.)
  • Toluca Assembly Plant (Mexico)
  • Sterling Stamping Plant (Mich.)
  • Brampton Assembly Plant (Canada)

About FCA US LLC
FCA US LLC is a North American automaker with a new name and a long history. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA US designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles under the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT brands, as well as the SRT performance vehicle designation. The company also distributes the Alfa Romeo 4C model and Mopar products. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler, the innovative American automaker first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925; and Fiat, founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli.

FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FCAU" and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol "FCA.

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SOURCE FCA US LLC

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