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FCA US Indiana Transmission Plant I Completes Local Bronze Empire

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Sept. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Indiana Transmission Plant I (ITPI) is fifth and final Indiana plant to earn World Class Manufacturing bronze designation
  • Transmission facility becomes 16th FCA North American plant to achieve milestone
  • Company has invested more than $1.9 billion in its Indiana operations
  • Award recognizes progress toward becoming World Class

The FCA US Indiana Transmission Plant I (ITPI) achieved its World Class Manufacturing bronze designation today, the last of the five Indiana facilities to reach the milestone award level. As one of the manufacturing sites for the nine-speed transmission, ITPI plays a key role in the Company's powertrain offensive. Since 2009, FCA US has invested more than $1.9 billion in its Indiana facilities, collectively making them the largest transmission operation in the world.

In reaching bronze status, ITPI earned a minimum of 50 points in 10 technical and 10 managerial pillars following a two-day independent audit on Aug. 30-31. Through employee-conducted pillar presentations and a review of projects implemented across the shop floor, the plant demonstrated clear WCM know-how and competence. The designation recognizes the long-term dedication of the workforce to making significant changes that can secure the future of a facility.

"Through their tireless effort and resilient commitment to WCM, the ITPI workforce now holds the bronze designation," said Brian Harlow, Vice President – Manufacturing, FCA North America. "The dedication of these employees establishes Indiana as a bronze empire and positions the world's largest transmission operation on a solid path to World Class status."

In 2015, a significant year for ITPI, the plant produced more than 560,000 transmissions, while celebrating the production of the one millionth nine-speed (a recognition it shared with the Tipton Transmission Plant, which also produces the nine-speed).  

"Since 2009, our UAW partners have supported the WCM methodology, understanding how critical it is to the Company's long-term success," said Harlow. "It is because of the active participation of our hourly employees that our manufacturing facilities continue to be recognized for eliminating waste, increasing productivity and improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way."

World Class Manufacturing, first implemented by Fiat in 2006 and introduced to Chrysler Group as part of the alliance between the two companies in June 2009, is a methodology that engages the workforce to provide and implement suggestions on how to improve their jobs and their plants, promoting a strong sense of ownership. Plants awarded for their efforts also have a role in accelerating the implementation of WCM throughout the organization as coaches and mentors.

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.

Of the 16 plants that have achieved bronze, 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. The 12 additional facilities that currently hold the WCM bronze designation are:

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

About Indiana Transmission Plant I
At 1.2 million square feet, ITPI began transmission production in 1998. In November 2010, FCA US announced an $843 million investment for the production of a future generation front-wheel-drive automatic transmission. Later in February 2013, the Company announced another investment of $212 million slated for Kokomo Transmission, Kokomo Casting and ITPI facilities for additional tooling and equipment to produce the eight- and nine-speed transmissions. Production of the nine-speed transmission began a few months later in May 2013.

ITPI currently produces the six-speed rear-wheel-drive transmissions for Ram trucks, Cummins Diesel and Heavy Duty, in addition to the nine-speed transmissions in all-wheel, four-wheel and two-wheel-drive configurations for the Chrysler Pacifica, Jeep® Cherokee, Jeep Renegade (produced at the Melfi, Italy, Assembly Plant), Chrysler 200 and Ram ProMaster City (produced at the TOFAS plant in Bursa, Turkey).

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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